Harry Redknapp’s loan ranger master-plan was in tatters last night after former LA Galaxy manager Alexi Lalas poured cold water on David Beckham’s chances of appearing in a Tottenham shirt later this month.
Lalas, in charge of Beckham’s MLS club from 2006-2008, said: "The reason David went on loan to Milan for the last two years was to prepare, in theory, for the World Cup.
"I think that was commendable and understandable to a certain extent - but now it is happening again I'm not sure."
Redknapp has been most vocal in his interest in taking Becks – England’s most capped outfield player – on loan, though Newcastle and Blackburn have also expressed an interest this week.
But Lalas told BBC Radio 5 live: "Soccer fans in the US say David Beckham has given a lot, but he's also taken a tremendous amount out of Major League Soccer."
Landon Donovan, LA Galaxy’s second most famous player, has already rejected the chance to go out on loan as he did so successfully with Everton before the World Cup. And American fans remain furious over the six-month Achilles tendon injury 35-year-old Beckham suffered playing on loan for AC Milan against Chievo in March.
That put him out of the World Cup and saw him appear only as a bit-part player in the regular season last year, playing just five games. The MLS’s best paid player was booed by Galaxy fans when he came back from his loan spell at the San Siro in 2009 and Lalas admits: "When Landon Donovan comes out and says he won’t go on loan this year, it certainly puts pressure on David."
Redknapp has toned down his need for Beckham, whose MLS season kicks-off on March 15, admitting: "Weeks fly by and this month will have come and gone before we know where we are. It's a difficult one. But let's wait and see, it's not in my hands.
"He'd be great to have around the place and I'm sure he's got a lot to offer as a player and a person. As a professional, he's top class."
Blackburn’s new owners – India’s chickens-to-chemicals Venky Group - have said their club are "open whenever David is ready to come". They have also confirmed a £6.2m bid for Brazilian Ronaldinho.
Beckham remains keen to gain some playing time in the Premier League to enhance his chances of adding to his record 115 England caps. Under pressure Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, in charge of Milan when Beckham was his loan ranger, said: “Beckham could be good support for Tottenham if he comes back. But we are not interested. In that position we have good players."