Could Everton strike an earlier deal for Landon Donovan?

Landon Donovan LA

Could LA Galaxy's mixed form see the American international arrive earlier at Everton?

Just last month Landon Donovan told FIFA's website that he wanted a third spell at Goodison Park, and assuming David Moyes remains in the hotseat it is more than likely it will happen.

As we all know Donovan plays for Major League Soccer club the LA Galaxy alongside David Beckham, and joined the Toffees for a brief loan between January and February in the American off-season.

The American won plaudits during his second spell, giving Everton a key lift and spurring them on towards a successful second half of the season.

For MLS clubs, their scepticism over the loans has slowly improved, but not totally. Robbie Keane and Thierry Henry were loaned out last season, but only two years earlier David Beckham was injured while on loan with Milan, much to the chagrin of his owners.

However with Donovan keen on Everton and having a key rapport with the players, Galaxy are fortunate he doesn't just hand in a transfer request. Clearly more than a modicum of compromise is needed.

Last year Galaxy won the MLS Cup, a competition which culminated at the end of November. Right now it is hit and miss whether they will make the championship play-offs.

With the regular season ending at the end of October, Donovan could be left kicking his heels for an extra month. Galaxy are second from bottom in the Western Conference, 7th out of nine, 15 points behind the leaders after 15 games , despite winning their last two.

Is there anything Everton can do to get him any earlier, as soon as the American season finishes in October?

It is a complex situation made more difficult by transfer windows and 25-man squad lists, but if both clubs and player can show willingness to work out a deal, it could be done.

Everton would have to register Donovan as one of their 25 for the start of the season, despite him not signing until later, but if a loan agreement is in place it could be done. Everton don't have a huge squad, so leaving the extra spot open might just be worth it.

If they could get him from mid-November to mid-February, it would be a huge lift going into the crowded festive fixture list, which his January arrival usually just misses.

Another stumbling block would be negotiating with Galaxy mid-season. They would prefer not to do so, as it could also affect Donovan's on-pitch performances, and would rather discuss such issues once the regular season is over, by which time it would be too late for the Premier League transfer window which closes at the end of August, a loan deal would have to be agreed by then.

However if Galaxy do not continue their improvement and have nothing to play for but pride by then, there may be a window of opportunity.

Galaxy boss Bruce Arena expressed reservations about the loans last month, claiming that getting players like Donovan and Keane back late disrupted the team's pre-season preparations and could be a reason for the club's poor MLS showing, and the club's reticence could be the biggest stumbling block. But the moves are an increasing trend and player power is expected to see them continue.

For Everton the possibility of getting Donovan earlier has many obstacles, but with Galaxy in danger of missing the championship play-offs, it is worth inquiring. If it comes off it may just be worth it.

image: © Albumen

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