David Beckham has put himself firmly in the frame to play at his fourth World Cup finals after securing a unique 'timeshare' deal that will see him spend the bulk of the next 15 months with AC Milan.
Beckham's desire to stay at the Serie A club is such that he will fund the majority of the loan fee being paid to the Los Angeles Galaxy - thought to be Â£2million - out of his own pocket.
Under the agreement, Beckham will stay at Milan until the end of the season, return to the Galaxy from July to October and then rejoin the Serie A club for the rest of the campaign.
It means Beckham now has the opportunity to cement his position in Fabio Capello's England squad for the World Cup qualifiers and the finals in South Africa next year.
Capello was instrumental in Beckham going to Milan in the first place having made it clear he believed it was necessary for him to play at the highest level.
Beckham's former club manager Sir Alex Ferguson has no doubt he has done the right thing.
The Manchester United manager said: "It is good for him, there is no question about that because it is the right type of football."
Sources have confirmed that all parties are in agreement but Milan general manager Adriano Galliani said it may be Monday before the deal is officially signed off.
Galliani said: "The Galaxy and us are going back and forward with corrections to the documents but we should be there although it's not official yet.
"The crucial day for the signing could be tomorrow (Saturday) or Monday. But the important thing is that Beckham is here with us and that he is playing for Milan."
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