Beckham set to return to AC Milan

LONDON: LA Galaxy are close to agreeing a loan deal for England midfielder David Beckham to return to AC Milan in the January transfer window.

Tim Leiweke, the chief executive of AEG, which owns Galaxy, said they were aware that a move would help Beckham improve his chances of featuring in next summer's World Cup.

Leiweke said that the 34-year-old needs a year of solid football to boost his bid to reach the World Cup.

"We have a deep appreciation of what he is doing over here with his national team," Leiweke said at the Leaders In Football summit atStamford Bridge on Thursday.

"I wanted him to know that we will support him so we are going to lend him out."

Galaxy want Beckham's loan deal sorted out soon so he can concentrate on a title challenge with his club.

"We want to get it done, for him and for us, because we have work to do over the next few weeks and I don't want any confusion," Leiweke said.

"It's the same with Landon (Donovan), there are a lot of rumours of whether he is staying or going. We're going to clear that up in the next two weeks because we want the team to be focused."

Leiweke is also hoping Beckham can attract other big names to the club.

"If we don't have a player like David going around telling every other great player that we're co-operative and it's a great place to play and 'you really should go and do this', if we don't have him as our ambassador, then we're never going to get other players to take that kind of risk," he said.

"That is the battle for us. We can't do this with one guy."

Although Leiweke is happy to loan Beckham to a European club prior to the World Cup, he is confident the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star will see out his contract with the Galaxy.

Beckham signed a five-year deal when he joined the Californian club in 2007.

Leiweke said: "We know he has to be playing in Europe leading up to the World Cup. That has been made clear to us, and we are going to support that.

"He will be somewhere come January and we will see him back in July.

"We have a contract and despite people thinking we're going to sell him, we're not. David is going to finish his career with the Galaxy."