Saturday Morning Beckham Dish


Look, I understand the whole "playing to the media" thing that seems to accompany so many high-profile negotiations over European footballers.

I very much disagree with those who want to say that this tactic is somehow evidence of a much more sophisticated and urbane business mentality that we poor, ignorant American bumpkins aren't intellectually capable of grasping, but that's another tale.

However, regardless of how you view this whole Beckham thing, which we all pray will end sometime before we're all dead, it's the next best thing to impossible to follow the statements of AC Milan Chief Adriano Galliani and then make the case that he's doing anything more than spouting nonsense.

A couple days ago he told everyone that he was "making great progress" on a deal for Beckham and that he "hoped to have a deal in place" by this weekend and that "it look(ed) good" for a permanent move and blah, blah, blah.

Fair enough.

Then of course we have Friday's comments from AEG's Tim Leiweke, who says that's all a crock; Milan offered $3 million, he told them to pound sand and nothing else has been said or done.

So in response, Galliani told reporters today that the problem is that Leiweke DOESN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT BECKHAM IS WORTH and is absolutely not raising the offer one little bit:

"I have experience of knowing a player's value and in the European market it doesn't make any sense to spend more."

So Galliani is saying that negotiations are going swimmingly and it looks like a deal is going to happen, but also says that he's not budging from his position.

The only explanation for this is that Galliani believes Leiweke will wake up tomorrow morning, slap himself on the forehead and say "What was I thinking? Of course they can have him for 3 million!"

Galliani also offered this insight into his keen business acumen:

"In the States they look at commercial aspects, whereas in Europe transfers are based on technical aspects."

The two not-so-thinly veiled swipes at Leiweke are hard to miss: a) the guy isn't sophisiticated enough to know how much Beckham is really worth and b) he's just a money grubber rather than an artist.

I'll skip the ludicrous claim that Milan doesn't give a crap about profit and loss; in the beginning most people thought that the only thing Milan wanted was to sell some shirts with "Beckham" across the back, but now that the guy appears to have some gas left in the tank Galliani is snooting at Leiweke for wanting to sell some shirts with "Beckham" across the back.

As for Beckham's "worth" I think it's Galliani who can't see the forest for the cannolis.

If Leiweke figures that three million bucks won't cover the shortfall Beckham's absence will create between now and August, then what kind of an idiot would he be to let him go for that?

Backhanded insults aside, (Europeans can't help it; condescending to Americans is in their blood. Until, of course, the Russians come pounding through the Fulda Gap) there are of course still two possibilities:

a) a deal where Beckham himself coughs up some money. If Becks wants out so badly, let him take a bit of the cash they spend buying THEMSELVES PALACES ALL AROUND THE GLOBE (not to mention pissing off monks) and buy his own freedom.

Except of course that's not how players roll; they want everyone ELSE to invest bazillions of dollars in them, but don't go asking them to do it themselves.

b) AC Milan - as some people are speculating - might offer the Galaxy a player rather than cash.

Names like KAKHA KALADZE AND DANIELE BONERA are being posited.

(I just checked Reuters and AP and there's nothing about any famous footballers out on 25th floor ledges threatening to throw themselves to the pavement below, so apparently nobody has mentioned this to the players in question yet.)

Of course that would also bring MLS acquisition rules into play, making Kaka an allocation; Colorado and San Jose pass; LA trades Eddie Lewis to Kansas City to swap allocation spots; Toronto gets LA's first round draft pick because everyone just figures that's how these things are supposed to go; then LA grabs Kaka and Leiweke gets a look at Kaka's contract and throws himself off a 25th story ledge to the pavement below.

In other Beckham news you can't live without, this whole experince is KILLING POSH who, reportedly, has flown from LA to Milan to see the hubby EIGHT TIMES IN THE LAST MONTH!

Apparently it's really wearing her out and, worst of all, it's wreaking havoc with her skin.

So basically she's flying to Milan twice a week.

Unless she's just giving him a peck on the cheek at the airport and them hopping on a return flight, how much time is she actually spending with David? Or, conversely, in LA with the kids?

Shoot, maybe they could give LA what they're paying per month in airfare.