Video: Where to next for Becks?
Published 20/11/2012 | 10:49
DAVID BECKHAM will leave LA Galaxy after next month's MLS Cup. Despite his age, the 37-year-old will still be viewed as a hot property by teams around the globe as he seeks to extend his career.
So where are the possible destinations for Beckham who wants "one last challenge" before ending his playing days?
Only last week, Beckham's spokesman rubbished claims from Football Federation Australia (FFA) that it had been approached by the midfielder's camp with a view to the player spending a short stint Down Under.
However, his decision to announce leaving the Galaxy so soon after these rumours came to light will fuel speculation.
Perth Glory and Melbourne Heart have already expressed an interest while Lyall Gormal, executive chairman of new A-League franchise Western Sydney Wanderers, said Beckham would have obvious commercial appeal.
The division is growing in stature and Beckham's former England team-mate Emile Heskey has moved to Newcastle Jets and ex-Juventus and Italy striker Alessandro Del Piero is now at Sydney FC.
In a country with a population of over one billion people, Beckham's marketing appeal could climb even further should he switch America for Asia, with his sponsors almost certainly likely to give their seal of approval.
Beckham moving to China would be a massive coup for the Super League and the former England captain would be able to name his price, with Nicolas Anelka reportedly earning over USD10million (€7.8m) a year with Shanghai Shenhua, who also boast the Frenchman's fellow former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba in their side.
However, would Beckham be comfortable with uprooting his family to another foreign environment and a culture that is completely different to the one they have become accustomed to?
STAYING IN THE US
Beckham has lived in the US for over five years - with the exception of two short loan spells in Italy with AC Milan in 2009 and 2010 - and has a wife and four children to take into consideration.
Staying in America and in Major League Soccer would certainly be appealing to Beckham although on the surface, the only move that would make sense would be a cross-coast move to the New York Red Bulls.
While acknowledging his move to the Galaxy in 2007 would increase interest in the MLS, Beckham insisted his switch was down to his desire to carry on winning trophies.
And the Red Bulls could have a real shot at glory next season, with Rafael Marquez, Tim Cahill and Thierry Henry already among their number.
Beckham's initial contract with the league included a clause allowing him to be involved in owning an expansion team down the line, so does he have unfinished business in the US?
Ligue 1 club Paris St Germain could follow up the interest they expressed in December last year - before Beckham extended his contract with the Galaxy - with a move to the French capital an option as they hunt for the Ligue 1 title.
Last summer's spending spree, which included the acquisitions of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and Ezequiel Lavezzi shows that the club's Qatar investors are not afraid to splash the cash to land their targets.
Although a return to the Barclays Premier League would create a stir in England, it appears unlikely.