Beckham Back to AC Milan … for Now

David Beckham will be leaving for Italy again. But don't assume he's gone for good.

Los Angeles will not have David Beckham to kick around — or to watch kick around the ball — any more. Well, actually they might next year.

Reports out of Italy say that powerhouse club AC Milan has hammered out a deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy to load the legendary English midfielder from January through the end of Milan’s season. That is pretty much the same deal that was struck last summer, and it should allow Beckham to be part of the English national team that comes up short again in the 2010 World Cup.

At the end of his last stint with AC Milan, Beckham and his people tried to pull every string they could short of getting the Pope involved to keep Beckham in Italy. And if he knew the Pope, he would have played that card, too. But it didn’t work because the MLS had too much marketing money invested to let Beckham walk after one year.

So instead, he came back to a stadium full of fans who called him a traitor and booed him in his return match. And Beckham, class act that he is, tried to get in a fight with said fans. Then there was fellow teammate Landon Donovan calling out Beckham as a leader. Those events drew the only headlines the MLS has gotten this season. Yup, it was great the MLS got him back across the ocean.

When Beckham leaves this January, the handful of Los Angelinos that notice will say, “Good Riddance.”

Except that it is not.

Yes, Beckham can opt out of his deal with the MLS after this season, something he would have done last year if he could have. However, because Beckham is 34 — ancient in soccer terms — nobody in the highest levels of the sport wants to give him a long-term deal. So it is entirely possible that Beckham will not get any offers that strokes his ego enough, leading to his return to Los Angeles next year (working around his World Cup commitments).

Sorry, Los Angeles. You may not have seen the last of David Beckham.

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