Soccer star David Beckham has decided not to join Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) because he does not want to relocate his family from Los Angeles, the French club announced Tuesday.
Beckham turned down PSG’s lucrative offer at the end of last week and was now expected to renew his contract at LA Galaxy with serious talks ongoing, Sky Sports reported.
The former England captain, 36, had been heavily courted by the Qatari-backed French league leader in recent months with his contract with the Galaxy expiring this offseason after he led the club to the MLS Cup.
But PSG sporting director Leonardo confirmed the club had admitted defeat.
"He will not come to PSG," the Brazilian said Tuesday in Doha ahead of the team’s exhibition game with his and Beckham’s former club AC Milan in Dubai on Wednesday. "It’s over. It’s a shame. But the welfare of his family in Los Angeles, the wish not to change everything in his life, weighed heavily."
Asked if he believed Beckham would re-sign with the Galaxy, PSG president Nasser al Khelaifi said, "Yes, I think so. David Beckham is in Los Angeles and will stay there. He will not come, it’s clear."
Still, Timothy Leiweke, the president of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), which owns the Galaxy, said Tuesday that any reports of a deal were premature.
"The stories were all over the front page of every newspaper in Europe that he was going to Paris; I told everyone I would not pay a lot of attention to that," he told the Los Angeles Times. "And now that the stories are that he is going to the Galaxy, I would repeat the same advice: Premature.
"We have been talking with David about staying with the Galaxy for three months. And I said back in November, I was confident David would stay here and I still am. Does it look more likely that is heading in that direction? Yes. Are we done? No."
"It’s not just Paris. He’s had other offers," Leiweke added. "And every one is greater and more expansive, bigger than anything we’re talking about."