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'Becks' must return to Europe in the winter, says the Italian.

England coach Fabio Capello has sent a frank message to midfielder David Beckham - play in Europe next year or face missing the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Beckham has been plying his trade in the United States with Los Angeles Galaxy since 2007, when he fell out of favour with previous Three Lions boss Steve McClaren.

The former Manchester United star spent several months on loan in Italy with Milan and is reportedly keen to return for another spell, with the Rossoneri likely to welcome him with open arms.

Capello, who bossed Beckham at Real Madrid, has insisted the door will be closed on the 34-year-old unless he makes a similar move again this coming winter.

"Beckham knows well that if he doesn't return to a big European championship in December he'll have no chance for the World Cup," Capello said, according to Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Beckham has also been linked with a possible loan spell back in England, with Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur both believed to have been interested this summer.

Jamie Dunn, Goal.com


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