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David Beckham to train but not play with Tottenham Hotspur

Officials of the English Premier League club and the Galaxy can't agree on compensation in case of injury. He stay in London until Feb. 10, then is expected to return to L.A.

January 09, 2011|By Grahame L. Jones

When Tottenham Hotspur fans showed up at the team's White Hart Lane Stadium in London on Sunday, there was anticipation in the air.

Would Spurs beat Charlton Athletic in an F.A. Cup game? It did. Would Spurs sign Galaxy midfielder David Beckham on loan? It did not.

So it was a good-news-bad-news sort of day for the Tottenham faithful.

Harry Redknapp, the team's coach, blamed "insurance issues" for Spurs' failure to secure a loan deal with Major League Soccer to have Beckham play in the English Premier League for a couple of months.

Later in the day, Redknapp changed his tune.

"Hopefully it could still happen," he said. "I was led to believe that it was an insurance problem, but apparently that's not the case."

Beckham, 35, ruptured his left Achilles' tendon while playing on loan with AC Milan in Italy during the previous MLS off-season. The Galaxy wanted to be adequately compensated if another injury caused the midfielder to again be sidelined for much of the year.

The two sides — AEG/MLS and Daniel Levy, Spurs' chairman — could not reach agreement. Instead, Beckham will join Spurs this week but only to train with the team. He cannot play in games.

Just how that satisfies Beckham's desire to impress England Coach Fabio Capello and perhaps earn a recall to the national team remained unclear.

Even though the Galaxy opens its preseason camp at the end of January, Beckham will remain in London until Feb. 10.

With the Galaxy and MLS remaining tight-lipped about the transaction, the Spurs were left to make the announcement, which the club did on its website.

"Tottenham Hotspur is delighted to announce that England's most-capped outfield player, David Beckham, will train with the first-team squad," the statement read. "David will train until Feb. 10, when he will return to L.A. Galaxy ahead of the start of the MLS season."

The Beckham camp released a statement quoting Beckham as saying he was "grateful to the L.A. Galaxy for allowing me to train with Spurs. I look forward to getting to work as soon as possible."

According to statistics compiled by ESPN, Beckham, who is paid $6.5 million per year by the Galaxy, has played in 57 of a possible 115 regular-season and playoff games for Los Angeles during the first four years of his five-year contract with MLS. During that time, he has played 55 games for England and on loan with AC Milan.

On another Beckham note, it was confirmed that he and his wife, Victoria, are expecting their fourth child.

grahame.jones@latimes.com

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