Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp says it's all but a done deal, that an agreement bringing David Beckham to the north London club for two months could be completed this weekend -- just in time for next week's showdown with his former club, Manchester United.
That's great news for Beckham, who has been angling for a loan deal the past three weeks, and it's great news for the Galaxy, no matter how L.A.'s club chooses to spin things.
Beckham, 35, has played very little soccer the past 10 months. He spent five months rehabbing the torn Achilles' tendon he sustained last March while on loan to AC Milan, a month at Home Depot Center preparing for his return, and just a little less than two months in the Galaxy's late-season push to the Supporters' Shield and into Major League Soccer's playoffs.
He was nearing something close to top form when the season ended and has been idle, at least in terms of games, since the Galaxy's end-of-season friendly in Australia.
A lot of L.A.'s players -- Landon Donovan most of all -- needed rest. Beckham needed games.
A deal with Tottenham, which has plans to use him on the right flank, would be a far more valuable preseason heading into the final season on his five-year contract with the Galaxy than drills at Home Depot Center and exhibitions against other MLS clubs.
The English Premier League is the world's best (and Tottenham among the EPL's top clubs), and only Germany's Bundesliga is more competitive among the five “majors” (England, Spain, Italy, Germany, France). And, best of all, the pace of the game in England is similar to the sometimes frantic speed of MLS while requiring greater skill and tactical savvy.
A two-month loan would have Beckham, likely at his best, back in L.A. in time for the March 15 season opener. (Fears of injury are silly, as Galaxy coach Bruce Arena might suggest: He just as easily could be hurt in during MLS preseason or once the season begins.)
Beckham's greatest skill, aside from delivering crosses and free kicks that are right on the mark, is that he's the ultimate complementary player. He's a provider, primarily, whose ability to find teammates in unequaled in MLS. His Galaxy compadres know that it's easy to play with him, and -- as we saw when he returned to the field last September -- the time needed to build chemistry, to make the necessary connections, is extraordinarily short.
Redknapp told reporters Friday that “there’s not too much to sort out. I think it will get done. We’re sorting out the length of the loan. I don’t think it’s a financial issue, certainly not from David’s point of view.”
The Galaxy declined comment, a spokesman saying that the club wouldn't make a statement unless something substantial occurred and that expectations were that no statement would be made Friday.
Maybe Saturday, then. Or Sunday. The sooner the better. Not just for Beckham and Tottenham, but for the Galaxy.