Donovan can join foreign club on loan

BY foxsports • December 16, 2009

Landon Donovan and the Los Angeles Galaxy signed a new four-year contract on Wednesday that will allow him to pursue opportunities to join a foreign club on a short-term loan agreement.

Donovan has been in talks about a loan move to Everton that would give him experience in the English Premier League in the run up to the World Cup. The Los Angeles Galaxy's Landon Donovan, Major League Soccer's most valuable player, signed a four-year contract with a provision for an offseason loan overseas, the club announced on Wednesday.

The loan period would last from Jan. 1 to March 15 and would ensure Donovan's return for the Galaxy's opening MLS game on March 27.

Financial terms were not disclosed for the contract, which runs through 2013.

"I'm fortunate," Donovan said. "This opportunity ... is incredible."

In being named MLS most valuable player, Donovan scored 12 goals and led the Galaxy to the final.

David Moyes, manager of Everton in England, expressed public interest in acquiring Donovan, who also is the all-time leading scorer for the United States.

"A loan deal has not been finalized but it'll likely be done with Everton," said Bruce Arena, the Galaxy coach and general manager. "I think it's pretty much narrowed down to Everton."

Everton is tied for 15th place in England's Premier League.

"For Landon, Everton's a great situation," Arena said. "They're a club with a small roster. They have a number of injuries. They have a congested fixture schedule over the next couple of months. It's a great fit for Landon."

A loan overseas would be the second for Donovan in 12 months. Donovan went to Bayern Munich from January to March.

Donovan also said the Galaxy's improvement this year played a pivotal role in signing the contract. In 2008, the Galaxy tied for the league's worst record amid internal turmoil.

"Candidly, a year ago, I wouldn't have made this decision," Donovan said. "But Bruce has completely turned this team around and made it some place where players want to be. I want to be a part of it.

"I love L.A. I grew up my whole life here. At the end of the day - after a lot of thinking, after a lot of soul searching - this is the place I want to be."

Donovan previously had stints with Bayer Leverkusen in 1999 and 2004.

The loan would put the U.S. forward on the same team as U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard and allow him to play against many of the England players he will face in South Africa next June.

"Everton football club have been in ongoing discussions with the MLS and we remain hopeful that Landon Donovan will join Everton in January," Everton spokesman Mark Rowan said.

Donovan would return to the Galaxy before the start of the 2010 Major League Soccer season in late March.

Donovan's new contract runs through the 2013 MLS season.

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