Speculation has appeared in Chinese media that All-World Superstar David Beckham will become an international ambassador for the Chinese Super League (see my earlier report here).
However, IMG, who are attempting to facilitate the deal, has told me that, contrary to reports, nothing has been confirmed at this stage, though negotiations are at an advanced stage (aren’t they always?).
That said, if the deal does get signed, IMG says Beckham may play in China after he has completed his five-month stint in France. They are also in discussions about his potential grassroots support – something China desperately needs – and Becks has experience in this area through his soccer schools – though, ominously, both his London and LA Academies have closed.
How he could hope to carry out his role as a CSL ambassador this season while still playing for PSG is not clear. But the most likely scenario would see Becks easing into semi-retirement in the CSL this summer, before opening another Soccer Academy later in the year.
His salary demands (currently $260,000 per week) could stil be an issue. Even if he continues to donate his salary to charity, as he is doing at PSG, someone still has to stump up the cash in the first place.
UPDATE: The UK’s Daily Star is reporting (used in the loosest possible sense of the word) that Becks will be paid $75 million for a “part-time job attending photocalls and parties” on behalf of the Chinese Super League. This is about as believable as the original stories from last year saying Beckham would sign for Shanghai Shenhua.