David Beckham is expected to choose his new club within the coming week, having received a reported 12 offers from around the globe. He has received offers from clubs in Europe, North & South America, Australia, South Africa, Russia, China and the Middle East.
Beckham, 37, decided against renewing his contract with LA Galaxy when it expired at the end of the MLS season in early December. The former England captain, who spent 5 years in the USA, ended that era of his career on a high with two consecutive MLS Cup Championship wins.
Beckham has since spent time with family, among other events, as he has considered the various options for his next move.
He has stated he wants one last challenge in his football career. Which has seen him play for Manchester United, Preston North End, Real Madrid, LA Galaxy, AC Milan and England.
Beckham will meet with advisers in the coming days to make the final choice on his next “challenge”. However, he has confirmed that his family will be based in London, no matter where the club he joins is located – as he feels his four children’s schooling is most important.
London clubs QPR and West Ham are believed to be very interested in his services, but it is understood a return to the Premier League is out of the question.
Beckham has told the world’s media that he only wants to join a club where he will be valued and play a major part at a high level.
A move to relegation-fighting QPR would mean he would be playing in a poor side, and possibly not week in week out. Where as West Ham would mean a return to his birth area of East London – but again, it isn’t expected to be his desired move. Plus, Beckham has said frequently that he wouldn’t feel comfortable playing in England, especially if it’s not for his beloved Manchester United.
Other options for Beckham include, firstly, France.
The now-rich French league leaders, PSG, have declared their interest in Beckham; that is a move that is expected to be one the top of Beckham’s list. It would mean a return to Champions League football and the lifestyle of glamorous Paris.
Fellow French club AS Monaco have also offered Beckham the chance to wear their shirt. The 2004 Champions League runners-up, however, now play in the 2nd tier of French football, albeit they are at the top and set for promotion. Monaco would again give Beckham a stylish lifestyle at high quality facilities – but does he really want to play in lower league football? Possibly not.
Another possibility for Beckham is Russia, where controversy is being painted over by the vast levels of money.
Australian club Melbourne Heart also are believed to have offered Beckham a deal, but such a move would be very low profile, and represent a massive drop in footballing quality – although it would be a similar switch to the MLS one, as he would again be helping to expand the game in a different, less football-loving country.
A return to the MLS would be very unlikely – as a player anyway. After his final LA Galaxy game, Beckham said that he would one day return to the USA to help soccer grow, most likely by being involved in ownership.
He has been contacted by 2 American clubs. Franchises in Miami and New York, who are keen to join the MLS in 2016 want Beckham to play a part in their growth in roles both on and off the field. But, a return to North America will have to wait.
It is anyone’s guess, really, where he’ll end up next. Beckham may be persuaded by Champions League football at PSG, or the chance of playing for another top legendary team; but, there may also be several clubs that are in talks that we just don’t know about.
Whether or not Beckham is taking them seriously or not is a different question.
For me, it’s one of the most interesting topics to keep an eye on over the coming weeks. as one of football’s most famous players ever embarks on the latest, and probably final stint in his illustrious career.
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Follow Stowe Gregory @stowegregory