(REUTERS) - Former England captain David Beckham will leave L.A. Galaxy after next month’s Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup final but said he intended to continue with his playing career.
The 37-year-old midfielder, who has been linked with a move to Australia’s A-League, said in a statement: ”I’ve had an incredibly special time playing for the L.A. Galaxy, however, I wanted to experience one last challenge before the end of my playing career.
“I don’t see this as the end of my relationship with the league (MLS) as my ambition is to be part of the ownership structure in the future.”
Beckham has spent six seasons with the Galaxy and in January signed a new two-year contract after winning the MLS title with the club.
The former Manchester United and Real Madrid player will play his final game on December 1 in the MLS Cup final against Houston Dynamo at Galaxy’s Home Depot Center.
Beckham won 115 caps for England, six league titles with Manchester United in the Premier League and then enjoyed league success with Real in Spain.
The London-born midfielder was the first ‘Designated Player’ in MLS - a title covering the ‘Beckham Rule’ which allowed clubs to sign certain players outside of the league’s strict salary cap rules.
“In my time here I have seen the popularity of the game grow every year. I’ve been fortunate to win trophies, but more important to me has been the fantastic reception I’ve had from fans in L.A. and across the States,” said Beckham.
“Soccer’s potential has no limits in this wonderful country and I want to always be part of growing it,” he added.
Beckham had an option in his initial deal with the league that allowed him to take a future ownership role in a franchise.
The Football Federation of Australia (FFA) said last week they had been contacted by Beckham’s representatives about a move to the A-league.
Beckham’s management company immediately responded with a statement saying he had no plans to play in Australia. (Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Nick Mulvenney)