World football glamour boy David Beckham could be on his way to Newcastle.
In a major coup, the former England captain and husband of Spice Girl ‘‘Posh’’ is expected to suit up for club side the LA Galaxy against the Newcastle Jets in an exhibition game at EnergyAustralia Stadium, possibly next month.
Jets executive chairman Ken Edwards confirmed last night that he was in negotiations with the Galaxy and Football Federation Australia about a visit to the Hunter.
‘‘We have had some discussions but we don’t expect any more information until later in the week,’’ Mr Edwards said.
A global phenomenon for more than a decade, Beckham’s celebrity extends beyond football.
He drew a sellout crowd of more than 80,000 when the Galaxy, which signed the former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder to a five-year, $284million deal in 2007, went down 5-3 to Sydney FC at Stadium Australia almost three years ago.
Wearing his famous No.23 shirt, Beckham delighted the Sydney faithful when he produced a trademark free kick to score early in the second half.
Mr Edwards was the chief executive of Stadium Australia and was heavily involved in organising the visit, which included a game in New Zealand.
Not since legends Bobby Charlton and George Best played for Manchester United against Northern NSW at No.1 Sportsground in 1967 has the Hunter hosted a drawcard as big as Beckham.
The proposed friendly has been listed for late November at the completion of the Major League Soccer season in the US, but Mr Edwards would not reveal whether discussions were for this year or 2011.
Any visit is also likely to include a junior coaching clinic.
The Beckham approach is the latest initiative since mining magnate Nathan Tinkler took ownership of the Jets four weeks ago.
In that time, the Hunter’s A-League flagship has set up a new administration office and taken measures to reconnect with the community, including cheaper tickets aimed at families and children.
Under new pricing only available online, children under 15 will be given a season pass, a family pass for the final 11 home games with reserved grandstand seating will cost $100 and general admission tickets will cost $10.
The Jets will also host a community day, where 10,000 fans will be admitted free, for the home clash against Melbourne Heart on Sunday week.
Jets director of membership and corporate Richard Fisk said the response to the new prices had been ‘‘overwhelming’’.