Galaxy and Everton in Tug-Of-War Over Donovan?
The Galaxy issued an odd statement today that leaves room for a lot of reading-between-the-lines:
We are aware of Everton’s interest in Landon Donovan, as they are one of a number of clubs who have contacted the Galaxy about the possibility of a short term loan agreement for Landon. The Galaxy, MLS and Landon’s representative will work together to determine if and whether an arrangement with Everton or any other club would be beneficial to all parties.
The last time I saw a statement like this was when Beckham was trying to get his deal with AC Milan squared away this time last year. What does it mean? Here is my translation:
Landon Donovan wants to be loaned out to Everton for the rest of the EPL season. That would mean he would miss the first eight weeks of the MLS Season and join us after the World Cup. It’s not like we have not done that before with a certain Mr. Goldenballs, but we are no pushovers. If Landon wants to do that, we expect him to return in July to boost our late summer and fall, World Cup-intoxicated ticket sales. Moreover, if Donovan moves permanently to Europe next January, we expect to see some righteous bucks head our way from the MLS head office.
Donovan’s contract with the Galaxy has expired, but the Galaxy hold an option to bring him back for two more years. They can exercise that option, call all the shots and hold him hostage, but that is probably not the wisest thing to do. However, if Landon is going to get more freedom to spend his prime three years in Europe, the Galaxy are going to want to be compensated in a big way.
We will see how this shakes out in the next couple of days.