In a fairly remarkable twist, the L.A. Times is reporting that the David Beckham saga is finally nearing its end. According to Grahame L. Jones, MLS has agreed to extend Beckham’s loan through the end of the Serie A season (end of May). Once the July transfer window opens on July 15, Beckham will rejoin the Galaxy for the rest of the season. According to Jones, Beckham will then exercise his opt-out clause, paying the Galaxy to release him from contract by the end of 2009. Remarkably, the deal is supposedly for more than the $10 million AC Milan previously rejected.
From the League’s perspective, Beckham can be trotted out one more time to half of the League’s cities. Because L.A. has a travel heavy summer, Beckham should still visit New York, New England, D.C., Columbus, Kansas City, Chicago and Houston. These visits will allow the League to pad attendance one more time on Beckham’s back. Moreover, because Beckham’s salary is pro-rated, the Galaxy can bring in additional talent to improve the squad.
This move certainly seems strange. AC Milan is seemingly out of the title chase and has little reason (on the field) to keep Beckham for the season. He will be available in January, 2010 as a total free agent. From Beckham’s perspective, this deal will cost him money, but he is probably hoping it buys some good will. He will likely try to couch this as “the best of both worlds” and the last shot he wanted to bring the Galaxy to the promised land. The fans will decide, but I suspect Beckham will face some harsh words upon his return.