Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp expects to say goodbye to David Beckham next week - with a heavy heart.
Beckham is due to return to Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday to prepare for a new season in Major League Soccer. He has been training with Spurs during the club's off-season and Redknapp's one regret is that he was unable to seal a loan deal for the midfielder.
"I think David will go back on the ninth (of February). I would like to have had him playing as he has looked great in training," Redknapp said.
"He is so slim and so fit, he is a fanatical trainer. He works in the morning and the afternoon in the gym. He just loves playing football.
"He could be at home now sitting around the pool. I am sure he has a decent enough semi in Los Angeles but he is over here wanting to play football. Most footballers would want to be in Los Angeles.
"But that is what has made him what he is. He wants to keep playing and he is a mega rich man. He just loves the game."
Tottenham kept in sight of a top-four spot in the Barclays Premier League with a 1-0 victory against Blackburn at Ewood Park on Wednesday night, Peter Crouch getting above Chris Samba to head home a cross from Rafael van der Vaart in the fourth minute.
Redknapp believes Beckham would have been an influential figure in their pursuit of a Champions League place and has not ruled out the possibility of trying to sign him in November when his contract expires, even though Beckham will be 36 by then.
Redknapp said: "I could do, yeah. I love him, I love the way he plays. That ball that van der Vaart hit for Crouchy, David hit about seven of them the other morning in training.
"It was like he had radar and Crouchy kept heading them in the goal. I kept saying 'That's what I have been asking you to do lads'. David has been fantastic. He is a top-class bloke. He has been great around the place. You would love to have him at your club."