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Monday, Jan. 3, 2011

Beckham wants to play for Spurs

LONDON (AP) David Beckham could be on his way back to England's Premier League — for a little while.

News photo
Winter job: David Beckham may be heading back to the Premier League to play with Tottenham on a loan deal. AP PHOTO

Tottenham, where Beckham trained as a schoolboy before signing with Manchester United, wants to sign the former England captain on loan from Los Angeles Galaxy until the Major League Soccer season starts in March.

Beckham has said he would like to return to the Premier League after more than seven years away and Spurs manager Harry Redknapp thinks the 35-year-old midfielder's experience could be invaluable for a team challenging for a second straight top-four finish and doing well in its Champions League season.

"He just said that he would like to come and play here at Tottenham," Redknapp said after Tottenham beat Fulham 1-0 on Saturday to stay in fifth place in the Premier League.

"I've left it to the people at the club. I've passed it on to them. They're talking to whoever they have to talk to at his club."

Beckham spent the past two Northern Hemisphere winters in Italy on loan at AC Milan, while his Galaxy teammate Landon Donovan did the same last year at English club Everton.

Beckham wants to join a European club on a short-term loan to boost his chances of being recalled to the England team. He made the last of his 115 international appearances against Belarus in October 2009 and missed last year's World Cup because of an Achilles injury at Milan.

Beckham previously said the only Premier League team he would consider playing for was Manchester United, which he left in 2003 to join Real Madrid. But the north London club hopes to exploit Beckham's connection to the capital, where the player was born and raised.

With a Champions League knockout round meeting with Milan to look forward to in February, Tottenham would appear well-placed to offer Beckham the sort of profile he is used to.

"He would be a good influence to have, the type of lad you want at your club, and he would give the whole place a lift," Redknapp said. "He's been a fantastic player and he is someone the players would look up to and respect.

"It's not as if he's suddenly lost blistering pace. He makes the ball do it and plays around people."

Midfielder David Bentley wants to leave Tottenham in January because he has failed to oust winger Aaron Lennon from the team, which would free a spot for Beckham on the Premier League squad.

Beckham's lack of pace and the presence of attacking midfielders Rafael van der Vaart, Luka Modric and Gareth Bale means he is unlikely to replace Lennon in the starting lineup of what has become recognized as a swift, free-flowing Tottenham side.

But he could replicate his recent role with England as a steadying influence late in games, with his accurate delivery from corners and free kicks still unmatched in world soccer.

"He can still do a job, otherwise I wouldn't bother," Redknapp said. "I'm not in a position where I need to go get somebody to sell tickets. The ground is full every week.

"If he came, he could make a big impact."



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