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Perfect time for Australia to make pitch for LA Galaxy's David Beckham

EDITORIAL: David Beckham's deteriorating situation in MLS is crying out for Australian football to rescue him from LA Galaxy.

After last week's confrontation with Galaxy's Riot Squad, it's difficult to see how this will not be Beckham's final season in the 'States. The reaction from many in the US media was even more telling. You didn't have to search long to find the knives are out for the England midfielder.

And Becks still wants a January return to Europe to keep his place in Fabio Capello's Three Lions squad. How is that going to go down with the soccer media, which has so quickly turned since his push to extend his stay at AC Milan last season.

There will never be a better opportunity for Australia to bring the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star to the A-League than now.

Peter Turnbull, now in charge of Central Coast Mariners, actually drew up serious plans to lure Beckham Down Under when he was on the board at Sydney FC. The deal was being put together just as AEG and LA Galaxy announced their world record agreement for the then Real Madrid midfielder late in 2006.

The business of Beckham has enjoyed good success in the 'States, particularly in LA. But his commercial value is still reliant on his fans in Asia.

Counting on a successful World Cup with England next year, a selling point for the A-League would be for Beckham to take advantage of his final years as a player by wringing the most out of his more popular markets - Japan and China.

One of the three Queensland clubs would be ideal for Beckham. He could train and play in a high level competition - and on his days off, hop on a plane and head north for his latest Asian promotion.

There is also the value of playing in Asia's Champions League for Beckham's minders to consider. With A-League clubs grouped alongside East Asian teams from the likes of Japan, South Korea and China, there is even more opportunity to sell the brand where it is most appreciated.

For me, it's a no brainer. I can see Brisbane Roar, under fresh ownership, kicking off their new era after the 2010 World Cup with Beckham as the showcase at Suncorp stadium. If Frank Farina's team can qualify for next season's Champions League, all the better.

Robbie Fowler aside, it's been disheartening observing the lack of ambition A-League clubs have displayed in the winter transfer market. It's difficult to see how - with the current thinking - the game can reach beyond it's current, core football audience.

Which was why last week's pitch to Manchester United was so encouraging. It was exciting to witness from the near margins how the local game came together so quickly and enthusiastically in an attempt to bring United to Australia. That it didn't happen, isn't the issue. Great worldwide publicity was generated from the bid and the game's powerbrokers showed they could act quickly when the right opportunity pops us.

Which is exactly what we're seeing with Beckham in LA. But if he is to make the Aussie move, the planning must now get underway as you can be sure the J-League will already be discussing exactly the same prospect.

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