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FCB to seek Donovan deal with MLS

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FCB to seek Donovan deal with MLS

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu Nov 20, 2008 7:00 pm

On Thursday afternoon, Landon Donovan completed his ten-day spell as a guest with Bayern. After his club Los Angeles Galaxy were knocked out of the Major League Soccer (MLS) play-offs, the USA international accepted an invitation from FCB coach Jürgen Klinsmann to keep fit by working out with the German champions' senior squad. "It's a great opportunity for me to see how the game's played here," Donovan commented on his arrival in Munich early last week.

The 26-year-old is scheduled to return to the USA on Friday morning to attend the MLS Cup final, where he will be presented with the US Player of the Year Award for the fifth time in total. However, Landon could soon be airborne again after that - on his way back to Munich.

"He's made an excellent impression here, so we've agreed to open talks with the MLS about a loan spell starting on 1 January 2009," Klinsmann announced prior to training on Thursday. "He has a verbal agreement with the league allowing him to play in Europe for two and a half months, just like David Beckham," Klinsmann continued. The veteran England international, Donovan's team-mate at Galaxy, has joined top Italian outfit AC Milan on loan until the start of the new MLS season in late March.

Klinsmann hopes Donovan may be able to stay in Bavaria beyond the initial loan period. "Obviously, our goal is to see if we can call on him for longer, at least until the end of our season," the coach said. That will all depend on the talks the FCB board are set to open with the MLS authorities. Players are contracted to the league rather than individual clubs in the US.

Klinsmann regards Donovan as a useful alternative in the Bayern forward line. "It's a fantastic situation for me. It gives me the chance to start the second half of the season with four strikers," commented the 44-year-old, who is hoping to include Donovan in the Bayern party for the winter training camp starting on 2 January: "That's how we imagine things developing."

Donovan has made a strong impression in training over the last few days, reported Klinsmann, an opinion seconded by a number of the club's senior players in private conversations with the coach. "He's unbelievably quick, and always looks to take on his man. He's a completely different type of striker to the ones we have already," the coach remarked.

The 26-year-old's failure to make the breakthrough with Bayer Leverkusen in the past was irrelevant, Klinsmann said. "He tried to fight his way into the team as a youth back then. He's a proven top player now, and a big name in the American game with more than 100 caps." Klinsmann believes the upcoming negotiations with the MLS "will come to a positive conclusion. Then it'll be up to him to show us what he can do from January onwards." Donovan would be the first USA international to join Bayern.
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