Rpt: Becks into Montreal MLS team

September 18, 2009, 12:48 AM

THE CANADIAN PRESS

MONTREAL — David Beckham’s interest in owning a piece of Major League Soccer could lead him to Montreal, according to a report.

The England star, who plays for the Los Angeles Galaxy, has previously confirmed he has an option to get into ownership. Now a report says Montreal could be a fit.

The New York Times, citing a source with "knowledge of Beckham’s planning," says Beckham and his management team are interested in partnering with Montreal Impact owner Joey Saputo in an MLS franchise in Montreal.

The Impact, which plays in the USL First Division, had looked at an expansion MLS franchise but balked at the US$40 million price tag. The franchise fee was later dropped to US$35 million.

The Times says Beckham’s MLS contract includes a clause that enables him to operate a team, or part of a team as early as the 2012 season.

"There’s a deal in place where I can purchase an MLS team or start a franchise," Beckham told reporters in August. "It’s something I am definitely interested in, or I wouldn’t have it in my contract."

The MLS is expanding aggressively with the Philadelphia Union coming on board in 2010 and the Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers in 2011.

Saputo told the Times he was approached by a group of potential partners some two months ago. He declined to provide further details.

The league told the Times while it had had discussions with Saputo about MLS expansion, it had not had any talks with Beckham or his representatives about Montreal.

A call to the Impact was not immediately returned Tuesday evening.

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