SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia soccer chief David Gallop was not surprised David Beckham’s management denied he had any interest in playing in the A-League but said that did not mean there was no possibility of it happening.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) said on Friday they had been approached by the former England captain’s management only for Beckham’s representatives to respond by saying the 37-year-old had “absolutely no plans to play in Australia”.
Gallop, who only recently took over as FFA chief executive, said such counter-statements were common when it came to negotiations concerning big players, as Sydney FC had discovered during their wooing of Juventus great Alessandro Del Piero.
“A similar thing happened with Del Piero in terms of the contact and, as we all know, that came to be. So let’s just see how this one plays out. It’s certainly an exciting proposition - no one would deny that,” he told local radio on Saturday.
”We’re not counting our chickens in relation to this ... but obviously people would prefer negotiations to happen behind closed doors.
”At the mere mention of Beckham’s name, it did leak out and there’s been a mushroom of interest.
”There would have to be a fair few hoops that would have to be jumped through and getting a deal with one of the clubs is the first step.
“There’s definitely been some contact made and let’s just see where it gets to.”
According to FFA officials, the approach was made in relation to Beckham playing in the A-League during the current 2012-13 season.
Beckham could fulfill his obligations with the LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer in the United States and then play 10 games as a guest player in Australia.
Melbourne Victory have said they are not interested in the former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder, leaving the Melbourne Heart and league-owned Western Sydney Wanderers as the most likely bidders for his services.
“I think the connection points now are going to be between the A-League clubs that are interested and Beckham’s management, so we’ll just have to let that dialogue happen,” Gallop added.
”But the timing is pretty good in terms of him being able to come in on a guest stint from the middle of January for 10 games.
“I think it’s a bit of a wait-and-see situation. Of course, it would be fantastic but let’s not get ahead of ourselves at this point.”
Beckham, on the west coast of the United States preparing for the Western Conference Championship against Seattle, flatly denied any interest in heading Down Under.
“That’s the first I’ve heard of that this morning,” he said. “But no, definitely not true.”
Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Ian Ransom