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Are there hints of Landon Donovan parting with MLS?

Aug 20, 2013, 3:25 PM EDT

Donovan of L.A. Galaxy controls the ball against Giovinco of Juventus during soccer match in Los Angeles

No rest for the negotiating weary. Just as the LA Galaxy get one soon-to-be-out-of-contract star tied up for a more extended hitch, they’ll need to begin worrying about another one. A more well-known one, in fact.

Landon Donovan’s deal with MLS is up at season’s end, just as Omar Gonzalez’s deal had been before a new contract was announced late last week.

Monday, during the debut episode of Fox Soccer Daily, Donovan revealed that his management team had already received other offers form lands beyond. More intriguingly, perhaps, Donovan indicated he was at a different point now, more willing to embrace a more permanent move overseas that has long eluded his liking.

What Donovan said on Fox Sports Daily:

We have received offers from teams in different countries that are intriguing. I’m still going to speak to the Galaxy and see where they value me and where they want to go, going forward.

“I’m really open in a way that I haven’t been before. In the past, I was pretty content to stay in L.A., but if it doesn’t work out and we can’t come to an agreement here, then I’m ready for a different challenge. And we’ll see what happens.”

There are two possibilities at work here. One, that at age 31, Donovan understands that it’s now or never for a move in Europe or perhaps even Mexico. (He’s fluent in Spanish, you know.)

The other possibility, the more likely scenario unfolding, is that the Galaxy and U.S. national team’s all-time leading scorer is just creating some negotiating leverage for what could easily be his final contract. He could be looking at Clint Dempsey’s whopper deal – Donovan’s fellow U.S. international is now making around $5 million annually – and thinking that his own annual earnings of $2.5 million is looking a bit like thin soup.

Remember what we talked about yesterday, in regards to Gonzalez and how positioning within the U.S. national team is so critical ahead of a World Cup? Well, same applies to Donovan, and he’s sure smart enough to know so. On the one hand, moving to Europe would make Jurgen Kinsmann happy, indicating to the U.S. coach that Donovan remains interested in pushing past comfort zones and challenging himself.

(MORE: Further contract talk on Omar Gonzalez and World Cup spots)

Then again, it’s a risky gambit; if Donovan goes somewhere and fails to feature regularly, he has wasted so much international momentum collected during last month’s master class Gold Cup performance.

One more thing, too: Donovan told me last year about this time that statistical achievement absolutely does matter to him. He’s quite close to becoming Major League Soccer’s all-time leading scorer and could also be the league’s all-time assist leader. That doesn’t sound like a guy in a hurry to leave MLS – unless, of course, he gains the all-time goals mark this year, which may still happen.

(MORE: Donovan may become MLS all-time leader this year)

  1. hildezero - Aug 20, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    If LD decides to leave, he better go to Europe, not Mexico. It would be bad for the MLS, if LD goes there, because it’ll make the MLS look bad and it’ll only separate the gap between the MLS and the Mexican league. He would do well in Europe. Hopefully he goes to Everton FC where he’s been great or to Manchester United where the former Everton coach is at and where the Man. Utd. owners are Americans. Nike can be a boost for the negotiations.

    • jusafootballfan - Aug 20, 2013 at 11:01 PM

      It makes YOU look bad when you say “the MLS.” It’s just MLS. You pretty much lose all credibility within 20 words. Come on guy. Get your shit together.

      • skymaverick26 - Aug 21, 2013 at 1:10 PM

        way to nitpick one word douchebag

  2. tylerbetts - Aug 20, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    Didn’t the Galaxy say something to the effect of “Landon Donovan is the L.A. Galaxy” after announcing Omar’s deal? The chances of him leaving LA this offseason are as good as my odds of being called up for the National team in October.

    He MIGHT be somewhere other than MLS this winter. Because he signed a new contract with MLS/LAG, and is on loan at Everton. That’s the only way we see him playing in anything other than a Galaxy or US kit any time soon.

  3. usernforce - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Perhaps Donovan realizes that he’d

    1. Get paid better in the Premier League
    2. Be able to influence more young Americans by planning in the Premier League and getting national broadcasts
    3. Actually be seen on the TV across the country which would bring more money in marketing deals.

  4. dfstell - Aug 20, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    He clearly should be paid a little more than he is currently paid. If LAG and MLS don’t pony up, he should go to the highest bidder. This is his last contract before he is “old” and has to start signing one-year deals. Make a few million extra and have financial security for the rest of your life.

  5. landomcfc - Aug 20, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    MOVE Donovan! This might be your last chance!! Would LOVE to see Landon back in the Bundesliga or a move to the EPL would be great as well! How awesome to see him somewhere like Crystal Palace, West Ham, or Southampton!

  6. hildezero - Aug 20, 2013 at 7:45 PM

    You’re joking, right?

  7. pjbowmaster - Aug 20, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    I could see LD signing with Everton.

  8. boscoesworld - Aug 20, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    Man U is dying for a creative attacking midfielder!!!

  9. gpry - Aug 20, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    No way LD features for a top Premier League team like MU (he’d be lucky to substitute in for 20 mins) He isn’t that good. Mid table like Everton is his best bet

  10. mdac1012 - Aug 20, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    I think it’s more likely LD is trying to create some negotiating leverage. He had a great Gold Cup and is playing well now, but at 31, I don’t see any EPL teams looking to bring him over. Everton, on a loan, maybe, but permanent deals for 31 yr, MLS players, no matter what their name is aren’t coming from any decent teams.

    He is worth a lot more to MLS and the Galaxy then to any team in any other country.

  11. player169 - Aug 20, 2013 at 9:13 PM

    Disagree, out of contract = no transfer fee and EPL pays ridiculous money for far less talent, so Donovan could still get a contract over there which pays more then his current contract. When you compare the new contract to other EPL stars, it probably won’t be compatible…

    At 31, I’m sure he can make more then someone like Cameron and that means pretty decent cash…

  12. mdac1012 - Aug 20, 2013 at 9:43 PM

    No top level EPL team is going to bring him in at 31-32. If a lower caliber team does, it won’t be on anything more than a 1 year deal. Maybe he has an offer from Ligue 1 or the A-League or something, but its more likely he is looking at Clint’s contract and thinking he should be paid more.

  13. hildezero - Aug 20, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    Well, he did say he was interested to play in Australia… :/

  14. hildezero - Aug 20, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    It makes YOU look bad, if you actually worry about. Come on, man. Get your shit right.

  15. bayoor75 - Aug 21, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Donovan is just trying to up his price with Galaxy…he is not going anywhere (maybe Mexico or a second tier league in Europe). No sane club will pay him what he can make in the US. I know that Dempsey making $8 mill a season is hard to stomach considering LD is the more technically gifted of the two (and LD has outshone Deuce in the national team). However, let’s not get carried away, he’s not going anywhere!

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