Beckham will stay with Madrid

David Beckham said he was almost certain to sign a new contract with Real Madrid. Beckham, whose current deal runs to 2007, said he expected negotiations to begin before the end of this season.

"There's a 99 percent chance I'll sign a new contract. I've no doubts that I want to stay here. The club know I want to carry on and I know they want me to stay," Beckham was quoted as saying by sports daily Marca on Tuesday.

Reports said Madrid wanted to contract Beckham for a further two years until 2009, when he will be 34. The midfielder joined from Manchester United in 2003.

Last month, England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson told a British tabloid reporter that Beckham was frustrated at Madrid and would return to England if a London club was interested.

Beckham said his forthcoming move to a new house in the Spanish capital was proof of his commitment to the team.

"They know I don't want to leave. I wouldn't have bought a new house if I wanted to leave. I'm at one of the biggest clubs in the world, why would I want to leave?" he said.

Beckham also denied having recommended Eriksson to become Madrid 's next coach. The 29-time league champion is currently under Juan Ramon Lopez Caro, who has led the team to a seven-game winning streak but is expected to be replaced at the end of the season.

"That's what they think in England , but I'm happy with Lopez Caro. Of course, Eriksson is a great coach and I get on well with him. I don't know what will happen this summer but our manager has done really well and was what we needed," the England captain said.

Madrid , which hasn't won a major trophy since 2003, is third in the Spanish league, 10 points behind leader FC Barcelona. It meets Arsenal in the next round of the Champions League. and plays Zaragoza in a Copa de Rey semifinal first leg on Wednesday, reports the AP.


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