David Beckham’s ambition to finish his career in the USA could arrive sooner than expected after American side the Los Angeles Galaxy confirmed their interest in the former England captain.
The Galaxy are keeping tabs on Beckham’s protracted contract negotiations with Real Madrid and may launch a bid if he fails to agree a new deal.
The 31-year-old’s current contract runs out at the end of the season and he will be allowed to speak to other clubs from January 1 if he has not put pen to paper on a new two-year deal.
Real Madrid sporting director Predrag Mijatovic believes Beckham is biding his time to see if he regains a regular starting spot before making his decision.
The Galaxy view themselves as the glamour club of Major League Soccer and Alexi Lalas, the former US international defender who is president and general manager, confirmed their interest.
Lalas told BBC Sport: “A move for Beckham is not something we need to discuss at this point because he’s under contract with Real.
“But if that changes, and there’s an opportunity, of course we’d be interested.
“There are thousands of clubs out there that would love to have a player of his calibre and the Los Angeles Galaxy is certainly one of them.
“For many people the Los Angeles Galaxy are looked upon as the jewel of MLS. We play in the best stadium, we have had incredible success over the history of the league and we have had great individual players and great teams. There is a tradition of excellence.”
Beckham played against the Galaxy in Real’s pre-season tour in 2005, and has a football academy in Los Angeles. In April he said: “I’ve one year left at Real, and maybe two more after that, but things can change in football and the American league does interest me.
“I want to be part of a country that is passionate about sport. I’ve got my academy in LA which is important to me because that is my life after the game.”
The Galaxy’s owner, sports conglomerate Anschutz Entertainment Group, has a close relationship with Beckham and his academy shares a home with the club.
There is a salary cap in the MLS but Lalas believes those rules are about to be relaxed.
Lalas added: “We recognise that when opportunities that will benefit the entire league come along we have to be able to make adjustments.
“I feel that going forward there will be the ability for the individual teams to do something like this.”
Beckham’s final decision could be influenced by the lack of first-team action he has had this season, with new coach Fabio Capello often using the midfielder as a substitute.
Mijatovic said: “We want to renew his contract and meetings with his representative have taken place.
“For our part there is no problem, but we also need to listen to the player.
“He has had bad luck in not winning any titles during his three years (at Real), and he is a little disappointed because he does not play as much as he would like, but we cannot guarantee a starting place to anybody.
“He is a footballer who generates a lot of income. No player is given more privileges just because they have a higher contract.
“He wants to continue (at the club), but also wants to play. He wants to have more time before making a decision in order to see if he regains his starting place.
“I believe that in the end he will remain here, because the current atmosphere in this team gives him guarantees that something beautiful can happen.”
Beckham, who played the last 25 minutes of Sunday’s 2-1 home defeat to Celta Vigo, could return to the Real starting line-up for Thursday’s Copa del Rey second leg with Ecija.