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Donovan hints at having rejected Manchester United

Aug 28, 2013, 5:46 PM EDT

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

On a conference call following the announcement of his new L.A. Galaxy contract, Landon Donovan provided a small glimpse into how big of a coup the new deal may actually be for MLS.

He refused to confirm or name any specific teams he had contact with, but there was one strong hint.

Following a question specifically targeting speculation linking the 31-year-old to Manchester United due to his good relationship with former Everton manager David Moyes, Donovan said, “I’m not going to comment on specific conversations I may have had with David in the past, but…we’ll say I had talks with some very high profile teams in England, how’s that?”

It’s actually not terribly surprising that he would end up turning down a massive club like United for the Galaxy, but still the lure of the top tier in England must have been extremely difficult to say no to.  Also likely is that the offer Donovan is referring to would have been for a winter loan move, which is looking less and less likely but still not out of the question.

Before insinuating his very possible contact with the new Red Devils management, Donovan gave a few hints as to why he chose the Galaxy over other clubs such as United. He told reporters he heavily weighted which place would give him the best shot at cementing his USMNT starting role for the upcoming World Cup.  Given what he said after that about United, it probably means Moyes was unable to promise him significant minutes at Old Trafford, again something that’s not entirely surprising.

As exciting as it is to be able to say Donovan will remain in the United States in front of his hometown fans (even saying in the call that he wishes to end his career with the Galaxy), there’s just a twinge of disappointment knowing the prospect of seeing the U.S. international in red at Old Trafford won’t become a reality.

  1. footballer4ever - Aug 28, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    “Donovan said, “I’m not going to comment on specific conversations I may have had with David in the past, but…we’ll say I had talks with some very high profile teams in England, how’s that?”

    LD, you are a respected US footballee for all you done to represent the US in the WC and in football club in MLS; However, you sound foolish and childish to say something like this which it’s equivalent to.high school talk. The only way you’d gain more respect would have been to take on such “offer” and back it up. LD, you look much better when you let you feet do the football talk than your own mouth. SMH…

  2. talgrath - Aug 28, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    One thing that I think very few people realize about going across the pond to play for a European team is that it is often more profitable to play in the US despite the higher European salary. Americans abroad pay double taxes, in essence; the IRS (unlike similar agencies) taxes income made overseas on a work Visa and you still have to pay all relevant European taxes. Add in that you need to buy or rent a place to live and the general higher cost of living compared to the US, and it frequently makes more sense to make less money and stay in the US.

    • bayoor75 - Aug 28, 2013 at 11:51 PM

      Ha ha ha…you’re joking, right? How many MLSers make $150000? Go look at the stats. The average salary in the French league is $30000/week. That’s easily over a million dollars. Spanish, German, Italian and English league players average more than that.

      Unless the player plays in one of the lower leagues, or some fringe league, it doesn’t make sense to stay in the MLS.

      • talgrath - Aug 29, 2013 at 1:43 PM

        Unless you’re a designated player, then it might. Donovan, pre-new deal, made about $4 million a year, post deal he’ll make even more. Sure, if you’re making a mere $100,000 a year, that European trip is a no-brainer, but if you’re a DP making much more than that, well maybe not.

      • gra42 - Sep 7, 2013 at 2:45 AM

        Or if your goal is to show up at the World Cup in better shape, and if you want to have a full off-season to take care of business other than soccer.

  3. hildezero - Aug 28, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    You see?… I told you guys that an interest from Man. Utd. Wouldn’t be surprising… :/

    • 77cjh77 - Aug 30, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      there’s no clear indication that there was any interest from united. LD saying “i’ve been in touch with some high profile teams” doesn’t have anything to back it up. i can (and will) make that same claim right now. i’ve had some discussions with some high profile italian teams. see? easy to make baseless claims and not back them up

      • gra42 - Sep 7, 2013 at 2:49 AM

        Seriously doubt he’d lie about a conversation he had recently with a coach he had a good relationship with, scored several match-winners in the EPL for (some against ManU and other top 4 squads), and who wanted him to stay at Everton when the MLS said “no” to Landon staying in England. It would be pretty easy for Moyes to call him out as a liar if he was doing so. Landon doesn’t have a history of doing anything like what you are accusing him of.

  4. mdac1012 - Aug 28, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    I don’t believe for a second that Man U had any real interest in LD. Did he speak with Moyes, maybe? Did he get an offer, I seriously doubt it.

    • 77cjh77 - Aug 30, 2013 at 2:53 PM

      ditto.

  5. hildezero - Aug 28, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    There had to be an interest. If you read my comment in another story, I explained why a Man. Utd. interest would be reasonable. Although, I never said offer.

    • bayoor75 - Aug 28, 2013 at 11:47 PM

      Don’t be ridiculous! Man U? For LD? I don’t believe it one bit. I will go as far as to say it did not happen. Who is he going to displace? Van Persie? Rooney? Welbeck? Giggs? Zaha? Hernandez? Not even Lindhaard! Waste money on a 31 year old who’s struggled mightily in Europe except for the stint at Everton? And his second stint was just average, not spectacular. Unless I see any evidence, I maintain that the rumor flies in the face of logic.

      LD is also a smart guy because he knows he will be a fringe player at any big European club so he decided to stay in the US.

      • boscoesworld - Aug 29, 2013 at 11:28 AM

        It is well known that Man U is looking for a creative attacking midfielder. Proof in point is the pursuit of Fellaini from Everton. I am not saying that the “offer” or whatever is true but Man U IS looking for such a player. Personally I think that Michael Bradley would be the choice if they look at an American.

      • mdac1012 - Aug 29, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        At this point in their careers, between the big US three of Donavan, Dempsey and Bradley, I would think that Bradley would be the one American that would rate in the eyes of Manchester United for a role larger than that of a sometimes substitute.

      • gra42 - Sep 7, 2013 at 3:09 AM

        I think that you’re forgetting his EPL record of scoring goals or getting assists against those defenses when he was at Everton, including several against some very big EPL CL teams. In his match against ManU, he was easily Everton’s most dangerous player. For the record, he never “struggled mightily in Europe” except when he was a teenager in Germany. He played on three squads, spent all but 7 games (two starts) worth at Leverkusen on loan to San Jose and did extremely well for Everton. He was their player of the month during one of his 4 or so at that club. He saw the field a few times at Bayern, and they didn’t bring him back because they already had players like Riberry (an example of his competition there- more famous, with bigger contracts AND from bigger soccer markets) settled at Landon’s position, already performing well.

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