He is not exactly rolling out the welcome mat, but Phoenix general manager David Dome now says the club would at least explore the remote possibility of signing David Beckham should the superstar express an interest in playing Down Under.
Former England captain Beckham yesterday announced he would be leaving LA Galaxy after the Major League Soccer final against Houston Dynamo on December 1.
"I've had an incredibly special time playing for the LA Galaxy, however, I wanted to experience one last challenge before the end of my playing career," Beckham said.
A-League clubs are queuing up for a shot at signing Beckham, with Melbourne Heart, Perth Glory, Western Sydney Wanderers, Adelaide United and Central Coast Mariners all registering their interest in the 37-year-old global icon.
Dome had dismissed the prospect when contacted on Friday, but was more enthusiastic yesterday.
"If someone gave us a call and said ‘hey, David Beckham wants to come to Australia, would you look at it' - we'd go ‘yeah, show us the details and let's have a look at it'," Dome said.
"But we've been clear about how we're going to run the business and we're not going to break the bank for Beckham any more than we're going to break it for anybody else."
That stance would rule the Phoenix out of the race, given the Heart are today set to table an offer of between A$1-2 million (NZ$1.27-2.54m) for a 10-week stint including finals.
"What we've basically said is marquee players is not our model," Dome said.
"But everything will be viewed in its own context. We wouldn't go after him as such, but we'd look at any player that came across our desk, where it would add some value to the team. We've had no conversations with any of the owners or the chairman about signing David Beckham."
Wherever he ends up, Beckham will certainly put bums on seats.
Westpac Stadium sold out when he strutted his stuff for the Galaxy against the Phoenix in 2007, when Terry Serepisos owned the club.
Crowd figures are a concern at Phoenix HQ, with only 6568 turning out for the last home game against Central Coast.
A more realistic transfer target is a replacement for Mirjan Pavlovic, whose contract was terminated by mutual consent last week.
Dome said he would sit down with coach Ricki Herbert and discuss possibilities when the team returns from playing the Glory in Perth on Saturday.
"Ricki's probably made a bit of a shortlist but we haven't even talked about it and we won't do anything until he gets back," Dome said.
"He's been given the numbers, what he's allowed to spend and he has to go away and find what he believes is the best person for that job."
- The Dominion Post
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