UEFA President to Investigate Soccer Teams "Loaning" Players

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

Los Angeles Galaxy coach and general manager Bruce Arena said Friday he was not aware "in any kind of detail" of UEFA president Michel Platini's desire to investigate how soccer teams loan players.

Platini said Wednesday that he wants to examine the process in
light of David Beckham's loan from the Galaxy to AC Milan. Platini
said he wants to prevent teams from acquiring players solely for
individual games or tournaments.

Arena also said he does not know if UEFA has contacted Major
League Soccer, the Galaxy or Anschutz Entertainment Group, the
Galaxy's owners, regarding a possible inquiry.

"I have no idea," Arena said. "I'm not aware of it."

Under the original loan agreement, negotiated in October,
Beckham would return to the Galaxy in March for MLS's season. But
Beckham said on Wednesday that he wants to stay with AC Milan and
negotiate a departure from the Galaxy.

AC Milan placed Beckham on its roster for the UEFA Cup, though
he would be available for only two games under the current loan
agreement.

In October, Beckham said he wanted to train and play with AC
Milan to remain in contention for a place on England's national
team and a possible World Cup appearance.

Beckham, who signed a five-year contract worth $32.5 million
with MLS in 2007, also said Friday in Italy that he
"rediscovered" himself with AC Milan.

A couple of Galaxy players said they understood.

"David is used to playing on teams like Real Madrid and
Manchester United," midfielder Chris Klein said. "To get back
into an atmosphere at one of the biggest, most storied clubs in the
world is going to rejuvenate a guy."

Forward Alan Gordon, the Galaxy's longest-tenured player, said
the team's losing took a toll on Beckham.

"Last year was a tough time for all of us," Gordon said. "One
thing about David is that he's very competitive. It doesn't matter
if it's a small-sided game on the training pitch; anytime he loses,
he's going to be (frustrated)."

Beckham is one of three MLS players who were loaned to overseas
clubs during the offseason. The Galaxy's Landon Donovan joined
Germany's Bayern Munich in December; his loan agreement also
expires in March.

On Wednesday, Bayern Munich placed Donovan on its Champions'
League roster.

The Chicago Fire's Cuauhtemoc Blanco played four playoff games
on loan with Mexico's Santos and sought a second loan to Puebla,
another Mexican club, but FIFA denied it.

Fulham FC in England's Premier League asked the Fire in January
to loan Brian McBride in a bid to avoid relegation but the Fire
refused. McBride played with Fulham from 2004 to 2008 before
joining the Fire in August.


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