LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Everton wants to keep American midfielder Landon Donovan beyond his 10-week loan period, but Los Angeles Galaxy coach Bruce Arena says he doesn’t intend to give an extension.
Donovan has made an impact in the English Premier League, winning praise from club manager David Moyes and the Goodison Park fans, who have started a Facebook campaign to keep him.
“I am keen to keep Landon and it sounds initially in America that they might say ‘yes,'” Moyes told reporters on Friday. “I think Landon is keen to stay also so it looks as though all parties are keen.
“But I have not got that confirmed yet. I can’t say exactly if that is going to happen. If we can make it happen we will.”
Donovan, who was Everton’s player of the month for January, has two games remaining with Everton on the loan: against Hull on Sunday and at Birmingham on March 13. He is due back to the Galaxy on March 15, 12 days before the team’s Major League Soccer opener against New England.
“We did a loan and he returns on March 15, and we’re fully supporting that whole process,” Arena said during a telephone interview with The Associated Press later Friday. “That’s what was agreed upon, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Arena said that only a MLS strike could change the team’s stance. The league’s collective bargaining agreement expired Feb. 25, but the MLS Players Union has not said whether it intends to strike.
“Certainly that could alter things,” he said.
Management and the union said Friday they will be joined by George H. Cohen, director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, when talks resume next week.
Everton has moved into the top half of the standings since the arrival of Donovan, who turned 28 Thursday.
“In the main he has done a really good job for us,” Moyes said. “It is very rare you can bring in someone in January on loan who can make a real difference to you but Landon has.
“He came in when the team was on the up, so that has suited him, but we cannot deny he has done well. Landon had to be thrown straight in so we had to find out very quickly if he could do a job or not.”
Though Moyes is hopeful of keeping a player who will have a key role for his country at the World Cup, the Scot also knows Donovan’s value to the Galaxy.
“I think his manager at LA Galaxy would say the best World Cup preparation for him would be to start in their team,” Moyes said. “They will be keen to get him back, so we will have to be respectful of their wishes. If we can keep him it, would be nice. But if not, I totally understand it.”