Looks like the resurrection of Landon Donovan might've hit a snag. While speaking with the German press over the weekend, Bayern's chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was quoted as saying:
Donovan is an interesting player. But when you have Klose, Toni and Olic already under contract, we think the fourth player (striker) should really be a young player with perspective.
After chalking up the last bit about young players having perspective as lost in translation, what's left is either feigned non-interest in an attempt to bring down the transfer fee, or legit non-interest. We're guessing it's a little bit of both.
As others, such as our friend Greg Lalas have speculated, one of the sticking points appears to be that MLS would want in the neighborhood of US$15 million for Landycakes. For that price, Bayern probably could snatch up a 19-year-old up-and-comer as opposed to a 26-year-old fourth striker.
The other thing to consider is that Lando was ostensibly brought in by Jurgen Klinsmann, who may not have the highest standing with the club at the moment. Let's just say that if the Kaiser admits that Bayern aren't favorites to win the Bundesliga, than the manager is on shaky ground. And that's even assuming that Klinsy would want Donovan to stay in the first place.
So where does that leave our beloved pygmy striker? To his credit, Donovan has gone over to Europe with the right attitude and seems intent on dispelling all those many criticisms that have been lobbed his way. Although his performance this weekend subbing on for an injured Luca Toni was pretty abject (according to the NY Kid, who actually watched the match), some of that has to be chalked up to jetlag after the US v. Mexico match. Otherwise, Lando has looked okay, scoring in friendlies and subbing on late in games. But maybe that's simply not good enough to earn a contract from Bayern -- or, at least, the $15 million outlay to sign said contract.
Meanwhile, if the Galaxy/MLS have proven anything lately, it's that they are fast becoming experts on protracted transfer negotiations. Our guess for how this ends? Donovan winds up in Europe in the next few months, but not with Bayern. The only way to justify his transfer fee is if he's starting regularly. And Donovan has probably done enough during this loan spell to earn that, even if it's with another club.
(Photo: AP/Christof Stache)