LONDON — David Beckham will begin training with Tottenham today and the club hopes a loan deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy can still be finalized.
Beckham wanted to play for Spurs for two months during the Major League Soccer off-season, despite the Galaxy’s reluctance to allow its star to risk another serious injury.
The former England captain injured his Achilles’ tendon while at AC Milan last March and was out until September.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp said on Sunday morning that a loan was not possible after it became “all too complicated with the insurance issues” and a statement stated that Beckham would instead only train with the club.
But Redknapp later backtracked by indicating that a deal could still be reached that would allow the midfielder to play in the Premier League for the first time since 2003 when he left Manchester United for Real Madrid.
A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that Tottenham and the Galaxy couldn’t reach an agreement over the payment of Beckham’s salary and stressed that image rights weren’t an issue. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details of the negotiations.
The Galaxy had been reluctant to allow Beckham to go to Europe during a third consecutive Major League Soccer off-season, because of concerns he may get injured.
Beckham’s announcement in December that he was seeking another loan to Europe took the Galaxy by surprise.
The team issued a statement through the AP within hours of Beckham’s comments emerging in December saying that it expected him back in training more than a month before the March 15 season opener at the Seattle Sounders.
On Sunday, Redknapp reflected that by saying: “They wanted him back in early February so that made it difficult to do a playing deal on the basis of three weeks.”
Even if Beckham doesn’t play, Redknapp said the player can still help his squad as it prepares for a Champions League knockout matchup with Beckham’s former club AC Milan and continues its push for a second straight top-four finish in the Premier League.
“He will be a great influence around the place and I am sure we will all benefit from his winning mentality,” Redknapp said. “I think everyone will enjoy having him here. We’d love to have him here for longer but respect his commitments to LA Galaxy.”
In a statement, Beckham thanked the Galaxy for allowing him to train with Spurs.
“It’s important that I maintain a high level of fitness during the MLS off-season,” said Beckham, who also trained with Arsenal three years ago. “I look forward to getting to work as soon as possible.”
The former Manchester United and Real Madrid player is still hopeful of being recalled to the England team by manager Fabio Capello, having made 115 appearances — the most by an outfield player.
Also Sunday, Beckham announced that his wife Victoria is expecting their fourth child later this year.
“I’ve got some great news to tell you all,” he wrote on his Facebook account. “Victoria and I are expecting our fourth child this summer. The boys are very excited about the arrival of a new brother or sister.”
The pair, who married in 1999 and whose celebrity is entrenched on both sides of the Atlantic, already have three boys: Brooklyn, 11, eight-year-old Romeo and five-year-old Cruz.