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.