- The Washington Times - Monday, January 15, 2007

12:16 p.m.

MADRID — Frozen out by his Real Madrid coach, David Beckham wants to join the Los Angeles Galaxy this spring rather than complete the remaining six months of his contract with the Spanish club.

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber said Beckham’s lawyers are trying to arrange an early release from Madrid, and the Galaxy can’t afford to buy out the star midfielder’s contract, the Spanish daily Marca reported.

Garber said the Galaxy would like to have Beckham as early as possible, and the 31-year-old Englishman is ready to make the move. The MLS season starts in April.

“We have to wait and see what the details of his Real Madrid contract are, and if he can get out of it,” Galaxy coach Frank Yallop told British newspapers. “Under normal circumstances he would join us in August, but we will see if he can come sooner.”

A Beckham representative said the player still intends to fulfill his Madrid contract.

“Until the club sits down with him to address the situation, David will continue to train with Real Madrid until the end of the season with his usual professionalism,” spokesman Simon Oliveira told Associated Press.

Beckham announced last week he would join the Galaxy in August after his contract with Madrid expires in June. The five-year U.S. deal reportedly is worth $250 million in salary and endorsements.

Victoria Beckham, the player’s pop star wife, arrived in Los Angeles on Saturday, presumably to look at homes and schools for the couple’s children.

Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello said earlier that day that Beckham would no longer play in games now that he has committed to another club and would only train with teammates. That leaves Beckham with the prospect of no competitive soccer for six months.

Yesterday, Capello criticized Beckham for signing with the Galaxy before informing Real Madrid.

“He signed his contract before he spoke with Madrid and for me that doesn’t seem right,” Capello said after Madrid’s 1-0 win over Real Zaragoza, a game Beckham watched from a spectator box along with his mother, Sandra, at Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

“If a player has a contract [with another club] it isn’t right that you continue to treat him as just another player,” he added

Oliveira said Beckham disclosed his plans to club officials in a meeting before signing with the MLS club.

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