The indispensible Steven Goff HAS THE SKINNY, THE POOP AND THE DOWN-LOW on Milan's "offer" for Beckham.
I use the term "offer" in the same sense that the little kid across the street once "offered" me two Transformers for my 300ZX. It was very cute, everybody had a good laugh but the chances of the kid ever spooling up those turbos were about as remote as they are of me playing midfield for AC Milan.
Which brings us to current AC Milan poster boy David Beckham, who is still the face that launches 1000 - probably more like 10,000 - news stories, journal entries, blog posts and general message board twaddle every day of the week.
We do need to notice, of course, that the Galaxy brought the guy in to generate publicity, and Milan brought him in mostly for the same reason and both of them are getting real value for their dollar.
Because this ridiculous soap opera (or opera bouffe for those of you with a cultural bent) badly needed some new wrinkles, here are a few for today:
Beckham is now apparently injured.
He says that he got kicked in the England match and then, wouldn't you know it, he got kicked in exactly the same place in Sunday's game. All of which is certainly plausible except that the body part now reportedly bothering him is a hamstring, and that's not a place where one normally gets nailed by a boot.
Furthermore, several observers noted that when they finally yanked Becks - just shy of 60 minutes - after looking generally useless, no trainer attended him, no ice was put on the "injury" and he sat on the bench watching the match rather than retreat to the locker room for treatment as might be expected when a superstar comes up injured.
It's true of course that he played a half for England on Wednesday, but it's hard to put the whole thing off to fatigue. It is, however, a reminder that this is the same guy who finished the 2006 World Cup in tears, his career apparently over. Maybe someone should notice that the 600 pound gorilla in the casa is the fact that this is a guy who, 33 or not, has spent a lot of time injured lately.
We can rebuild him; we have the technology
It's hard to know what to think of Milan's claim that THEIR "LAB" CAN KEEP BECKHAM PLAYING UNTIL HE'S 40
Maybe they're using seemingly ageless Paolo Maldini as the prototype here, but a) Maldini really IS one of the greatest talents of all time and on the best day of Beckham's life he wasn't fit to carry Paolo's jock b) Maldini is a genetic freak, made of titanium and stuff.
It's really hard to believe that anyone, even the snobs who run AC Milan, think they can keep the oft-injured David Beckham productive for another seven years.
Posh and the kids don't want to leave LA
The little woman, who may hold the distinction of being virtually the only female on Earth whose husband is prettier than she is, says SHE IS "RELIEVED" that hubby is apparently coming back to the Galaxy.
She says she's of course "gutted for David" but, frankly, she and the kids like LA a lot, thanks.
My favorite part is where she says she wants to stay "and I've made that clear". I'll bet when she makes something clear, it's indeed pretty clear. The only question I have is whether she made David wear a little French Maid outfit when she told him.
And it's not hard to see why: security for the boys, always a primary concern, is much less complicated in spread-out LA, which has been well-designed over the years to isolate the elites from the hoi polloi, and where your hired muscle is more or less free to kick crap out of whoever they want.
And her career in fashion, which is supposedly going very well, doesn't work as well in Italy, where she's competing with Versace, Ferri and Armani than in the US where cutoffs and a PETA t-shirt is considered haute couture.
This was always a two-pronged offensive: David was going to bring America football and Posh was going to bring them fashion.
And in a practical sense, she can keep cranking out rags for the next 40 years or so. Let's see Milan's lab top THAT.
If, as Goff is reporting, Milan only offered $3 million bucks for the gently aging Mr. Beckham, then they're simply drunk.
(In any case, it's certainly just a tad bit shy of the £10.5 million offer Milan "leaked" to the media, "leak" in this case being a synonym for "baldfaced lie")
Apparently they feel they can strong arm MLS into letting the guy go by moaning to the world football press about how Becks - who, just coincidentally SIGNED A GODDAM CONTRACT TO PLAY IN LA - is being brutally oppressed and forced to live in virtual slavery in Los Angeles, thus destroying the career of this brilliant talent.
Excuse me while I barf.
Becks told his teammates that he's "not going back" to the Galaxy
Of course, he told us last November that he was "fully committed" to playing for LA in 2009, so I guess paying attention to what the guy actually says is a sucker bet.
Milan's loss in the Milan derby yesterday effectively means they're out of the running
Does the fact that AC Milan is clearly not going to win the Championship have any effect on the negotiations?
Maybe they decide that they don't really want the guy any more. They of course don't say so, but continue to cry huge crocodile tears over how badly they want the wonderfulness that is David Beckham.
They just don't up the ante. AEG says no. MLS ends up looking like the bad guys.
Deadline? What deadline?
Sky Sports is reporting that Milan's negotiators are arriving in LA AT THE END OF THIS WEEK.
Now I suppose it's possible that they're, you know, coming over to check out the strip joints or something, but I suspect that they plan on sitting down with Leiweke and working something out.
This view is reinforced by Victoria's comment that "there will more talks next week." It's underlined by the fact that MLS and AEG management are all off on vacation - Graham Greene says Garber is in Spain - anyway. Now it's true that guys like them are always available, but they don't blow town when something this important is going down.
Bottom line, in my seldom-if-ever-humble opinion, Milan is coming dangerously close to overplaying their hand. In the end, MLS CAN insist that he come back, and while the Eye-Ties and Beckham Inc. are playing their cards very well at this point, the hole card belongs to MLS:
That pesky contract with DBeck's signature on it.
And lastly, there's Donovan.
Apparently Munich just isn't stepping up to the bar either. Is it a lowball offer? No offer at all? Simply the opening salvo in a game of chicken similar to the Beckham kerfuffle? Who can say?
Not enough info at the moment to know, and - as with Beckham - nothing is even remotely "final" until the MLS season begins.