Arena: No to Donovan extension

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.