On the heels of the rumors which started flying yesterday claiming that a Beckham-to-Milan deal was imminent, comes some details from THE DAILY MAIL which, if true, are stunning.
The most shocking revelation is that Beckham may actually be about to cough up as much as £5 million of his own money to buy his way out of the Galaxy.
Reportedly, Milan will put up a similar amount as payment for an "extended loan" since the original deal expires in a few days. This second loan would keep Beckham at Milan until the end of the Italian League season, which is May 31.
Then he'll play for England in a couple of matches in June, take a brief break, and report to the Galaxy in July (he can't actually appear on the field for LA until the transfer window, which opens July 15.)
Then, at the conclusion of the MLS season, Becks would fork over the other £5 million in the form of a buyout of the balance of his contract in Los Angeles.
(For the record, I'm not convinced that the Mail isn't confusing dollars with pounds, but I can't prove it. For now, I'll go with their numbers.)
Essentially, this deal satisfies the £10 million valuation that Los Angeles reportedly placed on the guy, with Becks and Milan splitting it 50/50.
Someone call Hell and see if they need some overcoats: a player may be coming out of pocket to facilitate a transfer. Then call Posh and tell her the household budget's being slashed and she may have to pack Brooklyn's lunch for a few weeks.
Among other things, of course, this means that Beckham, who has been playing pretty much non-stop since the beginning of the 2008 MLS season, will continue to play from now until the end of the next Serie A season, in May of 2010, at which point he hopes to be in the England side and play in South Africa.
Has anyone bothered to think about just how long this guy's body is going to hold up? Does anyone care? Has this whole thing, which has always been at least 50% publicity driven, passed entirely over the line into fantasyland?
ACM coach Carlo Ancellotti is now telling reporters that he indeed HAD NO INTENTION OF PLAYING BECKHAM when he first showed up, but that now "he's better than kaka or Ronaldinho":
'His vision of play is better now than during his time in Manchester and in that respect, he has nothing to envy Kaka for.....'He is slower but much stronger tactically and technically. He is very intelligent and works a lot."
As for the Galaxy, this can't be particularly good news for Arena. Beckham's salary can't be charged against the cap until he actually arrives, but so what? Unless they can find some really good players who are willing to come in for half a season and then leave when Beckham shows up, the money does them no good.
It's the worst of all possible worlds: you can't have the player and you can't replace him.
If there's some reason besides the blow to his pride that makes Tim Leiweke want this guy back under these conditions, I can't imagine what it is. If there was some chance that he was going to come in next July, go on a scoring spree and carry the Galaxy to MLS Cup on his back, then yeah, I could see it.
But we all know that's just not going to happen. So why in the world would you be wiling to sit on a $400,000 hole in your salary budget waiting on a guy who's unlikely - at best - to solve your problems when he does finally show up?
So AEG gets made whole financially and the Galaxy's fans get to sit through another terrible season. Leiweke's boss is probably happy, but his customers have a right to be livid.
Maybe I was too hasty the other day when I dumped on Arena for bringing in all those greybeards. Maybe that's the only kind of a group who can deal with this madness.