LA beckons for brand Beckham as Real Madrid deal founders
LONDON - Former England captain David Beckham could be heading for the exit door at Real Madrid and relocate to play in Los Angeles for LA Galaxy, in a move that could further spell the demise of the midfielder's once phenomenal global branding reach.
According to Predrag Mijatovic, Real Madrid's sporting director, Beckham will not play for Real Madrid after the Spanish domestic season ends this summer. He said: "Beckham will leave us, we will not renew his contract with the club."
It is uncertain whether Beckham wishes to stay at Real Madrid, but Mijatovic's comments, which were made to the Italian press, will fuel uncertainty about the 31-year-old's future as a footballer and brand ambassador for his various sponsors, which include Gillette, Pepsi and Adidas.
This morning, reports suggest Beckham is considering an offer to play for American team LA Galaxy, following in the footsteps of other footballing superstars such as Pele who have finished their careers playing in the US.
However, LA Galaxy are offering Beckham just £1.5m a year, compared with the £5m he earns in Spain.
Beckham was dropped as the face of Police sunglasses in October 2006 in favour of actor Antonio Banderas, ending a six-year £1m-a-year contract. He also handed in his England captaincy following the team's dismal performance at the 2006 World Cup in Germany last summer.
Despite a perceived dip in his performances at Real Madrid, which has led to him being left out of the England squad since new manager Steve McClaren took over from Sven Goran Eriksson on August 1 last year, it is understood that Beckham will be resolving his contract with Real Madrid in the coming weeks.
However, Beckham is currently out of favour with Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello, and he has had very limited first team football in La Liga this season.
Simon Oliveria, Beckham's spokesman, denied that Beckham was about to announce he was leaving Real Madrid after four years. He said: "Nobody has said anything to us. As far as we're concerned, the offer [to extend Beckham's contract] is still there and a meeting is due this week."
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