David Beckham said in the days leading to the MLS Cup final that he had not spoken to Paris Saint-Germain, the French giant everyone assumes he'll be part of come January.
Now talks are on, according to PSG sporting director Leonardo, the former Brazilian star who coached Beckham during his AC Milan loan spells.
“Yes, we've spoken,” English tabloid The Sun quotes Leonardo. "These situations take time. We'll see if something suits him and suits us.”
Beckham's Galaxy contract expires at the end of December, and he has at least three more games in an L.A. jersey -- on the postseason trip, starting Saturday, to Indonesia, the Philippines and Australia. He has repeatedly said he would sit down with his family at season's end to determine his next step. The Galaxy has made an offer to keep him, and PSG and London-based clubs Tottenham and Queens Park Rangers, among others, are courting.
Beckham, who with his family planned to spend Thanksgiving with Galaxy ownership AEG's president, Tim Leiweke, and his family, will be 37 in May, but he remains the world's premier crosser of the ball and is coming off a superb campaign crowned with the MLS Cup title.
He also played with injuries, mostly minor, all season, and his ailing lower back is a constant concern. He had a marvelous final Sunday, helping create Landon Donovan's goal in the 1-0 victory over Houston, despite playing with a torn hamstring.
Qatar Sports Foundation, an arm of the Qatari government and Olympic Committee, took control of PSG in August and is spending lavish cash to turn Les Parisiens into a global power. PSG is atop Ligue 1, France's top league, with a 9-2-3 record, ahead of Montpellier on goal difference.
There are commercial aspects to PSG's Beckham approach, some certainly connected to the 2022 World Cup, which will be played in Qatar. But Leonardo, a left back and midfielder during a storied playing career who is remembered here for delivering the elbow that fractured Tab Ramos' skull in Brazil's Fourth of July victory over the U.S. in a 1994 World Cup round-of-16 clash at Stanford, says the English superstar will make the team better.
"I know his history, and he doesn't need to tell me his past,” Leonardo said. “He went to Milan, and it was the same thing. There is a rapport with him. When you talk about Beckham, you're talking about something big. ... I think he can still bring something on the pitch with the person he is and the experience he has.
“If a player like him is thinking about Paris Saint-Germain, that's good, and we've opened the door for discussions.”