Phoenix say no to chasing Beckham

SAM WORTHINGTON AND AAP
Last updated 05:00 17/11/2012

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THE Wellington Phoenix have ruled themselves out of the race to sign David Beckham, whose services are being shopped around A-League clubs.

Football Federation Australia yesterday said it had been approached by an agent representing the former England captain, after an A-League club had expressed interest in acquiring his services for a guest stint this season.

But Phoenix general manager David Dome said last night that his club wasn't interested in pursuing Beckham.

The FFA said discussions were at "a very preliminary stage".

"The approach from David Beckham's people is another sign of how much the A-League has grown in stature on a global basis," an FFA spokesman said.

With America's Major League Soccer competition finishing in a fortnight, the timing would work for the 37-year-old LA Galaxy star.

The move, however, is subject to financial backing by the FFA, with new boss David Gallop needing to decide whether to support it.

Beckham is the third-highest earner in the MLS at US$4 million per season.

In his most recent deal, he accepted a US$1.5m pay cut from the Galaxy and it is believed money would not be a primary reason for wanting to play in Australia.

He is reportedly happy to receive compensation in the form of what will no doubt be lucrative commercial arrangements.

Melbourne Victory, however, have no desire to have the football legend among their ranks, with coach Ange Postecoglou welcoming the news of his possible stint but denying any interest.

"That's great if he is. Would we be interested? Nah," he said.

Perth Glory chief executive Paul Kelly said: "We would be mad not to seriously consider David Beckham. At the end of the day it's the coach, Ian Ferguson, who makes these decisions and we as a club have a process that we follow when recruiting players."

Sydney FC, Western Sydney, Melbourne Heart and possibly Brisbane are considered the most likely destinations for the former Manchester United star.

Contact Sam Worthington
Sports reporter
Email: sam.worthington@dompost.co.nz

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