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Sports News
LA rule out early Beckham arrival 1/16/2007
LA Galaxy general manager Alexi Lalas says the club has no plans to take David Beckham to the US before his Real Madrid contract ends in July.
Beckham, 31, has been told by Real boss Fabio Capello he will not play again after signing a deal for the US club.

But Lalas said: "Our position with David is unchanged. All our plans are that we will welcome him in the summer.

"We respect his chance to honour his contract with Real Madrid, we must let him focus his attention on his team."

Interview: LA Galaxy general manager Alexi Lalas

Lalas also shrugged off media comments that Beckham''s decision to play in Major League Soccer signalled the end of his career as a top-level footballer.

He added: "Beckham is coming to the premier club in the US, the jewel of Major League Soccer.

Beckham''s representatives have toyed with us for the last two months

Real Madrid president
Ramon Calderon

"LA Galaxy has very high standards for any of our players, not just David.

"Those suggestions are representative of a lack of knowledge that exists about the USA and the level of the soccer.

"It''s rather insulting to the players and the teams we have over here.

"I think it''s more competitive than many leagues around the world and David will be challenged in ways he has never been before and he''s going to help elevate things."

Beckham, who has signed a £128m deal with Galaxy that begins in August, must now decide where his short-term future lies.

He is expected to have talks with Real Madrid in the next few days after his spokesman revealed the club had not told Beckham of their decision that he would not play for them again.

But the spokesman also denied suggestions Beckham''s lawyers had already had talks about cutting short his contract at the Bernabeu.

"The club are yet to express their intentions to David," said a Beckham spokesman.

"Any reports suggesting David''s lawyers are speaking to Real are inaccurate. He remains a Real player and he will be available for selection as usual."

Beckham''s done nothing wrong - his performances haven''t been any better or worse than anyone else at Real

606: Have your say

Announcing his decision on Thursday, Beckham stated his desire to give "100%" to Real Madrid until the end of the season.

However, coach Fabio Capello was angry that the former England captain failed to inform the club of his decision before making the announcement and vowed not to select him for Real.

"Beckham signed his contract before he spoke with Madrid and for me that doesn''t seem right," said Capello.

The Italian''s decision was backed by the club''s president Ramon Calderon.

"Beckham''s representatives have toyed with us for the last two months," Calderon told Spanish radio station Onda Madrid.

"Whenever his representatives met sporting director Predrag Mijatovic, they never informed him or the club that he had agreed a contract with another club.

"They never told us that Beckham had made up his decision, that he had bought a house in Los Angeles. I don''t feel that it''s right and I certainly don''t like it.

"I can understand Capello''s decision to leave Beckham out of the first team. After all, the player has his mind somewhere else.

"It''s sad because, considering Beckham''s time at Madrid, he deserved a better ending at the club than this one."

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