MILAN (AP) -- David Beckham wants to stay with AC Milan because he's "rediscovered" himself as a soccer player.

The ex-Manchester United and Real Madrid player has expressed a desire to stay with Milan and secure a spot with the England national team rather than return to the Los Angeles Galaxy after his three month loan period expires on March 8.

"At the moment, Milan is more important than money. I want to think about football before everything else. I said in a clear manner what I think, I want to stay at Milan because I've rediscovered myself as a football player," he said in Friday editions of Corriere dello Sport.

Beckham is about two years into a $32.5 million, five-year contract with the Galaxy of the MLS.

"The immediate aim is to stay here in Milan and play at the highest level possible," he said. "This would give me the best possibility of securing a place with the England national team."

So far there have been no talks between the two clubs, though it is expected that the Italians will begin negotiations soon.

Some observers viewed the transfer as an opportunity for Milan to cash in on Beckham's commercial appeal while the former England captain kept himself in shape and in contention for the national side.

Beckham and Milan have been surprised by his on-field success. He's started all five matches since arriving, scoring two goals and becoming "indispensable," according to coach Carlo Ancelotti.

"Not even I thought the situation could go so well so quickly. In truth I was expecting to do well at Milan, but I was never expecting to enjoy myself this much," Beckham said.

Ancelotti included Beckham on his 25-man roster this week for the UEFA Cup, despite only being available for two games against Werder Bremen. Ancelotti said it suits Beckham to play on the right of a three-man midfield, alongside Andrea Pirlo and Massimo Ambrosini.

"Beckham has stated his desire and now we'll see how the situation evolves," Ancelotti said Friday. "There's time to find a solution before March 9. For sure he has made a bigger contribution to what we expected."

Negotiations are expected to be tricky, with Beckham's image rights likely to prove a sticking point.

"We will have to see what happens between the two clubs, Galaxy and Milan. I have faith (in them) and therefore I've made my decision. I have a lot of respect for Galaxy, but I want to stay at Milan and I hope the two clubs can come to an agreement," Beckham said.

Alex Ferguson, Beckham's former manager at Manchester United, would be pleased to see him return to Europe.

"If they give him that opportunity, it would be silly not to take it," Ferguson said Friday. "He's had a spell at Galaxy and, fine, they've paid him an awful lot of money and they should have some loyalty from him.

"But being selfish, if I was given the chance to go to Milan, I would take it. There's no chance he can do it in two years. This is a golden moment for the lad, and I think he'll take it. If they can work out a deal between Milan and Galaxy, I think it will happen."

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