LA uninterested in extending Donovan loan

Arena says that Donovan will return to Galaxy on March 15

Landon Donovan

Photo Credit: 
German Alegria

CARSON, Calif. -- Los Angeles Galaxy head coach and general manager
Bruce Arena said the club is not interested in extending the loan of
Landon Donovan to Everton of the English Premier League, despite reports
that the Toffees will pursue such an arrangement.

Everton manager David Moyes was quoted by the Press Association in the
United Kingdom as saying he was hoping to extend the loan which began
Jan. 6 and is scheduled to end March 15. Donovan has played in eight
games with Everton and has one goal and two assists.

"I am keen to keep Landon," Moyes said. "In the main he has done a
really good job for us. It is very rare you can bring in someone in
January on loan who can make a real difference to you but Landon has.

"Landon has been thrown straight in so we had to find out very quickly
if he could do a job or not. But I think his manager at LA Galaxy would
say the best World Cup preparation for him would be to start in their
team."

Arena confirmed such sentiments Friday.

"We're not interested," Arena said before his club scrimmaged San Diego
State. "Landon will be back here March 15. We're being consistent with
everything we've said all along."

Donovan signed a new four-year contract with Los Angeles in
mid-December, but several clubs were interested in his services during
the offseason. Aside from Everton, those reportedly included Serie A
side Livorno, Paris Saint-Germain of France's Ligue 1, Mexico's Club
America, Scotland's Glasgow Celtic and even Liverpool of the English
Premier League.

Donovan is coming off arguably his finest season. The nine-year MLS
standout was named the league's Most Valuable Player, he led the U.S.
into the finals of the FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa, he was
named to his ninth MLS All-Star team and he became the league's leading
scorer in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Arena did leave an opening, however. MLS currently is in talks with the
players union about a new labor agreement, and the start of the regular
season -- the Galaxy open against New England on March 27 -- could be
jeopardy if no deal is reached.

If the league does not start on time, Donovan then might be able to stay
with Everton.

"Obviously the collective bargaining could change that," Arena said. "If
we didn't have a league going on we would certainly entertain the idea
of allowing Landon to stay there.

"If we have a league, Landon's going to be playing for the Galaxy."

Larry Morgan is a contributor to MLSnet.com.