By JEROME PUGMIRE, Associated Press
PARIS (AP) — Paris Saint-Germain hopes to strike a deal with David Beckham in the next two weeks in which the former England captain will work with the French club after retirement, possibly in an ambassadorial role.
The 38-year-old midfielder announced Thursday he will retire from soccer after PSG's last game of the season.
"I met him yesterday, actually, and he's very interested to continue being involved with the big project of Paris Saint-Germain," Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the team president, said at a news conference Friday. "He believes in the project, he believes in the club, he loves the club.
"He enjoyed the last six months, so we are in discussions now. Just yesterday he announced he was going to retire so we have time to discuss," Al-Khelaifi added. "In the next two weeks we are hopefully going to announce if we're going to reach an agreement together. I hope we will because honestly I want him. "
Coach Carlo Ancelotti said Friday that Beckham will start PSG's final home game against Brest on Saturday. PSG's last game is at Lorient on May 26, although it is uncertain whether Beckham will play in that one.
"He's taken this decision. We have to respect his decision," Ancelotti said, speaking about Beckham's decision to retire. "He thought it was the right decision to stop. Not just PSG but the football world lost a fantastic player a professional player, a good man."
The former Real Madrid and Manchester United star joined PSG in a surprise move on the last day of the transfer window. He has played 13 games — most as a substitute — and been part of a league title with a fourth club. He also won two championships with the Los Angeles Galaxy.
"Football will lose a player who had a very good image. So in that sense we can't be happy," Ancelotti said. "I will remember him as a fantastic passer. He was one of the best in the world at passing. His career was fantastic. He played for the best clubs in the world — Real Madrid, Manchester United, Milan, Paris Saint-Germain. He went to America and won the championship. He was a fantastic midfielder who could play in any position."
Although Beckham has played reasonably well at times for PSG, he has actually stood out more for his combative streak than for his passing and crossing.
Beckham has set up only one goal, a chipped pass from the right against Rennes that appeared to be going in anyway before top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic helped himself to another goal.
Beckham was booked in the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinal against Barcelona, and against Evian on April 28 he was red carded shortly after coming on as he went into a tackle with a dangerously raised foot. There was no contact, but the challenge was reckless.
Against Brest at Parc des Princes on Saturday, Beckham will have a chance to say farewell to PSG's fans, who knew him only for a short time. Then comes the finale in Lorient.
"The quality he showed is his professionalism on the pitch and off the pitch, the character," Ancelotti said.
Ancelotti's future with the club is uncertain. He has yet to confirm whether he will be staying next season, and he has no idea if Beckham will be with the club in some capacity.
"It's not my business to find a role for David," he said. "He's going to speak to the club if he decides to have a new position."
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