Beckham camp deny Australia link
David Beckham's representatives insist the LA Galaxy midfielder has "absolutely no plans to play in Australia" despite reports to the contrary.
Beckham signed a new two-year contract with the Galaxy in January but has previously had two loan spells with AC Milan in Major League Soccer off-seasons.
And Football Federation Australia (FFA) released a statement early on Friday morning in which it said it had been approached by the Beckham camp with a view to the player spending a short stint in the A-League.
A Beckham spokesman was quick to refute the claim, however, describing it as "rubbish" before adding in a statement: "There is always enormous interest from clubs across the world in signing David as a player.
"There are absolutely no plans to play in Australia, David is completely focused on the MLS play offs and winning another Championship with the Galaxy."
That stance contradicts the signals emanating from Australia. The FFA statement read: "The approach from David Beckham's people is another sign of how much the Hyundai A-League has grown in stature on a global basis.
"Beckham is a superstar on the world stage and he would be another massive signing for the Hyundai A-League after the arrivals of Alessandro Del Piero, Emile Heskey and Shinji Ono.
"But this approach remains at a very preliminary stage."
FFA chief executive David Gallop also told reporters in Australia: "It's wonderful that David Beckham is thinking about the A-League as a potential destination.
"Beckham is a superstar on the world stage and Australian audiences have loved his visits here with the LA Galaxy.
"He would be another massive signing for the A-League after the arrivals of Alessandro Del Piero, Emile Heskey and Shinji Ono.
"There are many hoops to jump through and I must stress this approach remains at a very preliminary stage."
Perth Glory have already stated an interest in Beckham and Lyall Gormal, executive chairman of new A-League franchise Western Sydney Wanderers, said the former Manchester United and Real Madrid would have obvious commercial appeal.
He told Sky Sports News: "We haven't had formal or informal contact over this, but clearly we are aware of the iconic vale of David Beckham.
"Beckham is outstanding. We've seen him here before on a couple of occasions. There was an 80,000 sell-out at the Olympic Stadium and he was here with the Galaxy the year before last for a game against the Newcastle Jets.
"He would be a fantastic commodity to bring to Australia."
On the contradictory statements from the FFA and the Beckham camp, Gormal added: "It is puzzling isn't it?
"My understanding is there have been informal approaches to other clubs. One or two have already come out and talked about their interest.
"Clearly there has been some informal discussions so it is a bit puzzling."
Galaxy meet the Seattle Sounders in the second leg of their Western Conference Championship play-off this weekend.
The Galaxy hold a 3-0 advantage after Republic of Ireland striker Robbie Keane scored twice in the first leg.
Should Beckham make the move he would join the likes of former Juventus and Italy star Del Piero and Heskey, who joined the A-League in the summer.
Any move for Beckham would need to be part-funded by the FFA with the A-League clubs, who work under a salary cap, unlikely to be able to afford his demands.
Most of the Australian clubs have also already secured their marquee player - whose wages are not registered under the salary cap - for the new season, which began early last month.
The Glory, last season's beaten grand finalists, are yet to fill that position, however, and their chief executive Paul Kelly immediately indicated they would be keen should Beckham be available.
"We are always happy to speak to players of the calibre of David Beckham, who would be great for the Hyundai A-League as illustrated by the effect of Alessandro Del Piero, Emile Heskey and Shinji Ono," he said.
"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.
"But we would be mad not to seriously consider David Beckham."
Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou has already ruled out making an approach for Beckham.