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LA Galaxy rule out Real Madrid U-turn for Beckham

Real president Ramon Calderon told Spanish newspaper Marca that the club were going to "make an effort" to keep hold of Beckham, whose Madrid contract ends on June 30, despite him signing a five-year contract with Galaxy in January.

Lalas was adamant there was no clause in Beckham's contract which allowed for a late change of heart, and told BBC Radio Five Live: "Without a doubt David Beckham is still coming to LA Galaxy.

"Nothing has changed from our vantage point, we can't wait for him to get here and we hope he is coming off a win next weekend and a La Liga championship.

"I don't doubt that Real Madrid along with numerous clubs would love to have the services of David Beckham but the reality is that ship has sailed and any comments to the contrary are simply false."

Amid reports of a clause in the midfielder's contract with Galaxy that would permit Real to make the move, Calderon said: "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.

"There was a bit of anger by the premature announcement of his exit, but we are now going to make an effort for him to stay."

Lalas felt Calderon's comments were nothing to concern the Galaxy.

"That comment in itself (from Calderon) is pretty benign that he would love David to stay and that that would be wonderful, but I think David is ready for the challenge and ready for the adventure," he added.

"I would think all concentration and positive energy (at Real Madrid) would be geared towards winning the La Liga championship and comments like this don't help the mental preparation of the team for their most important game of the season."

Asked if there was a get-out clause in Beckham's Galaxy contract, Lalas said: "No. I can't discuss a player's contract or individual clauses but we're confident that he is coming and all this is just people talking.

"The reality is that we have a contract for him to come and we think it's going to be wonderful for the Galaxy on and off the field and for US soccer.

"We're excited to have him and there is no altering of the course."

Lalas speculated on whether things might have worked out differently had Real made a bigger effort to keep the player at the end of the year when contract talks first got under way, and felt the Galaxy got in at exactly the right time.

"I definitely think that you grab hold of opportunities where they are and given what's happened on the field for David the circumstances have changed," the former USA defender said.

"Timing is everything in this world whether it's in football, in life or in business. We recognised an opportunity, the negotiations were swift and smooth, he saw what a wonderful challenge and he saw that we were honest and excited about making the offer to him."

Asked whether would be better off staying in Spain or another top European league for now, Lalas added: "I don't agree with that. I believe any player can come to US soccer and not sacrifice any of his development."

Lalas claimed the club would "deal with" any change of heart from Beckham, but insisted that was purely hypothetical.

"We want players who want to be here and David has been nothing but excited and supportive about what we're doing here in the United States but if a player did not want to be here we would deal with that, whether it's David Beckham or any other player."

Beckham's spokesman echoed Lalas' comments and said: "There is no intention of getting out of the Galaxy contract.

"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."

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Tribal Football Staff

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