AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani said that the Italian giants have moved a step closer to tying up a permanent deal for former England captain David Beckham.

Beckham has impressed during his time on loan at the Italian giants and both he and his club have made it clear that they want to secure a long-term agreement. But the former Manchester United and Real Madrid player's current club Los Angeles Galaxy said last week that Milan had missed a deadline to tie up a deal.

"In the last few hours we've taken some steps forward," said Galliani upon the team's return from the 1-1 draw with Werder Bremen in the UEFA Cup. "We are even more confident than before. I'm neither optimistic nor pessimistic."

Beckham has already admitted it would be difficult to return to Los Angeles. "I've said I want to stay here and obviously if I do go back it will be a bit difficult," he said following Sunday's Milan derby. "But I'm always professional so we will have to wait and see when the final decision is made. I hope things go the way I want them to. I've already said that I want to stay, I'm enjoying my time here and hopefully I will (stay)."

Galaxy have rejected one previous offer from Milan for the 33-year-old and last week the Italians admitted that the two parties were a long way apart in their valuations of the midfielder.