Beckham can't cope with pace of Premier League, says Benitez as Chelsea manager takes swipe at former England captain
14:59 GMT, 30 November 2012
Interim Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez believes David Beckham will no longer be able to keep up with the pace of the Barclays Premier League.
The former England captain is on the lookout for a new club after announcing his decision to quit LA Galaxy following Saturday's MLS Cup final.
A host of clubs have expressed an interest in signing Beckham, with Queens Park Rangers leading the Premier League race to land the veteran midfielder.
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Monaco are also interested in Beckham
and are poised to hold talks with the former Manchester United and Real
Madrid star next week.
one club where Beckham won't be heading is Chelsea after Benitez
appeared to rule out a move for the midfielder.
'I was watching some games in the MLS, analysing his team, and he was doing well. His crossing was very good,' said Benitez.
'I don't know if
he can cope now with the pace of the Premier League.'
Monaco were relegated in 2011 after suffering a steady decline in fortunes since appearing in the 2004 Champions League final, when they were beaten 3-0 by Jose Mourinho's Porto.
However, billionaire Russian businessman Dmitry Rybolovlev bought a majority stake in Monaco in December 2011 and wants Beckham on board from January to inject some glamour into the club's attempts to win promotion.
No move: Benitez has questioned whether Beckham could cope with the Premier League
Beckham may have reservations about the standard of football in France but life on the French Riviera may appeal to him and wife Victoria.
On Thursday night, Beckham spoke in LA ahead of Saturday's game but did not give much away about his future and would not comment on suggestions from new QPR boss Harry Redknapp that he may wish to take him to Loftus Road.
Beckham said: 'I'm lucky. At the age of 37 I've been offered some quite exciting options. I am flattered by some of the interest I have had. I always said I'd struggle to come back and play in England because I've played for the biggest club in the world and biggest club in England – Manchester United.
'So I couldn't see myself playing for any other Premier League club, but you never know. I do think I'll be spending more time in England, though, and it's good for our kids to see their grandparents.
Fun in the sun: Beckham could be tempted by a move to Monaco
'Over the last six years it's been
difficult not seeing them as much as we'd like and they'd like, but we
won't be leaving LA for good.
'What I am touched about is that I've got great managers – Harry
(Redknapp) and (Carlo) Ancelotti at PSG saying great things about me.
'They are not saying they would like to sign me but they are saying nice things about me.'
Meanwhile, Jermain Defoe has claimed Beckham would be welcomed at Tottenham with open arms if he decides to move back to England.
Spurs tried to sign the 37-year-old on loan last year and he ended up training with them during the MLS off-season.
Beckham has previously said he would not play for another Premier League club other than United. But former England team-mate Defoe told Absolute Radio's Rock 'N' Roll Football: 'He can come to Spurs if he wants – we'll have him here.
'He's a fantastic player and I think a credit to the game.
'If you talk about someone that's done everything in a game and to still want to play and still have another challenge and still want to achieve something, when you've achieved so much, I think that's a special person.
'He's someone that I look up to, a legend in the game.'
Silver lining: Beckham has the chance to win his second MLS Cup
VIDEO: Becks talks about future ahead of his last MLS match