Los Angeles Galaxy general manager Alexi Lalas has dismissed Real Madrid’s claim they could exercise a clause in the contract of David Beckham to keep him in Spain after this season.
Beckham has agreed a five-year contract worth up to £125m (€184m) to move to Major League Soccer when his Madrid deal expires at the end of June.
However, in comments reported in Spain Madrid president Ramon Calderon claimed the club would work to keep Beckham in Spain.
In an interview with PA Sport, Lalas insisted the deal to bring Beckham to California was set in stone.
Although he refused to comment on the specifics on any player’s contract, when asked directly if there was any mechanism Madrid could use to keep Beckham, Lalas said: “No.
“I don’t doubt Real Madrid would love to have David Beckham next season but the really is that ship has sailed.
“We’re looking forward to his arrival. Nothing has changed from our perspective.”
Lalas woke up to reports from Spain quoting Madrid club president Ramon Calderon as suggesting there was a clause in Beckham’s contract that could keep him in Spain.
“We need to sit down with him (Beckham), his representatives and with (Real Madrid sporting director Predrag) Mijatovic, look at this clause, and decide between us, but for me I would be delighted if he remained at the club,” Calderon was quoted as saying.
Lalas described those comments as “benign” but did not seem surprised Madrid was now regretting the decision to let Beckham walk away as a free agent in the summer.
“Since agreeing the deal, he’s shown what a valuable player he can be to whatever team he is playing for,” Lalas said.
“I would do anything and everything I could to keep a valuable player for my team.”
Beckham’s own representatives dismissed Calderon’s comments, telling PA Sport their client was looking forward to his move.
“There is no intention of getting out of the Galaxy contract,” a spokesman for Beckham said.
“David is looking forward to going to LA – but he wants to end his career at Real Madrid on a high note first, by winning the league.”
Lalas has himself spoken to Beckham’s camp and is happy nothing has changed.
“I’ve talked to his folks, and we’re completely on the same page as them in terms of the comments they made,” he added.
“We’re looking forward to him coming over to begin his US adventure. This changes nothing.”
Beckham, 32, is set to make his final appearance for Madrid in next Sunday’s home game against Real Mallorca.
Victory would give Madrid its first league title since 2003, and Beckham his first significant silverware in his three seasons with the club.