30th of November 2012 Author: Johnny Karp
Former England captain David Beckham is set to begin talks with French side AS Monaco, with negotiations expected to take place after Saturday's MLS Cup final. The 37-year-old iconic footballer is believed to be open to a move as he has already announced his desire to leave Los Angeles Galaxy after the end of the Major League Soccer season.
Monaco chief executive officer Tor-Kristian Karlsen said: "We are happy with our current squad. But if there's a chance to get a player of Beckham's stature, we'd be foolish not to explore it."
The former England captain, who has attracted interest from various clubs around the world, including sides in Russia and Brazil, plans to make a final decision by the end of 2012.
Monaco's Karlsen added: "Right now we're trying to learn if Beckham's future ambitions are in sync with ours. I understand he's high in demand but it's natural for a player with his experience and quality. Let's see what the next few weeks bring. It's a privilege to be linked with world-renowned players like Beckham."
David Beckham is due to play for LA Galaxy against Houston Dynamo on Saturday in the MLS Cup final. LA Galaxy won that cup last season with a 1-0 win over the same opponent to earn Beckham his first piece of silverware in the United States. After that win he signed a new two-year contract in January.
Monaco, who play in the second tier of French football, Ligue 2, following their relegation from Ligue 1 in 2011, look set to begin talks with the midfielder after he announced he was to leave the Galaxy for "one last challenge" before retirement. The French side have experienced a terrible decline since taking part in the 2004 Champions League final, which ended in a 3-0 defeat by Porto. They had been stuck in mid-table for a while and then a period of financial instability led to their relegation.
Billionaire Russian businessman Dmitry Rybolovlev bought a majority stake in the club in December 2011, with ambitions to return them to the pinnacle of European football. Karlsen added: "We're an ambitious club and our president is committed to bringing the club back to where it used it be - to the elite of French football. To achieve such a goal we have to keep an open mind when experienced and extraordinarily talented footballers become available."
Monaco have won seven French league titles in their glory days and had famous players in their ranks, including George Weah, Yaya Toure and Englishman Glenn Hoddle. They were also managed by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger between 1987 and 1994. At the moment Monaco are top of the French second division after 15 matches of the season.
Beckham has also attracted interest from Paris Saint-Germain, and the club have offered him a multi-million pound contract to move to Paris last November but he declined for family reasons.
Here are the odds from Bet365 for the MLS Cup final:
LA Galaxy win - 5/6
Draw - 5/2
Houston Dynamo win - 10/3
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