Are we seeing games being played at Bayern over the possible transfer of Landon Donovan from the MLS. The Galaxy player has one month left on his loan deal to the Bavarian giants. Today, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge stated in an interview that while Donovan is an interesting player, he doesn’t see the deal being extended. He said in the interview, “When you have Klose, Toni and Olic already under contract, we think the fourth player (striker) should really be a young player with perspective.”
This is very true; however, this statement came on the same day that Luca Toni has started to make noise about returning to Italy. He seems to even be angling to get his friend Franck Ribery to join him in Series A, possibly at Juve.
Add to that, the fact that Donovan was brought over and wanted by Klinsmann, and on the surface there is the possibility that the statement was made as a negotiating ploy.
But that is not certain. It is hard to argue with Rummenigge’s appraisal of his forward line because accommodating four strikers is virtually impossible when they are all of a certain caliber. However, if he loses Toni, that leaves a big hole. Can Donovan fill it?
Or perhaps, the loss of Toni is the catalyst for giving up on Donovan. While Donovan has proven to be valued by Klinsmann, having played in every game since joining Bayern, his role as a link up player means that he can’t be a long term replacement for a target man. So if Rummenigge sees a summer job of replacing Toni, then perhaps Donovan is expendable no matter what Klinsmann thinks.
And then again, perhaps the youth comment is a salvo to the MLS, who has been trying to get top value on two of their prized assets. This is the last time MLS might be able to get a good price for the forward. He turns 27 towards the end of this loan, and he is much closer to the end of his career than the start.
Personally, I hope Donovan stays as I do feel that he is one a few players that can generate interest in America for the Bundesliga.