Roberto Mancini Manager Manchester City 2009/10 Manchester City V Tottenham Hotspur (0-1) 05/05/10 The Premier League Photo Robin Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom

And that's just about all we can confirm right now on the Donovan-to-Manchester City rumors that exploded yesterday. In New York for the "Barclay's Football New York Challenge and Burlesque Review" (okay, maybe I added that last part), Man City manager Roberto Mancini was apparently asked about Landon Donovan. This would seem reasonable considering Donovan's name has already been linked to City; whichever reporter brought it up wasn't trying to start rumors that didn't exist before.

In response, Mancini said, "Donovan is a good player. Could be possible."

That's hardly a declaration that City is "swooping" for Donovan, or reason for the Interwebs to explode with six million stories announcing that he is now on their shopping list. But that's the silly season, and with Donovan's rep at an all-time high and transfer rumors a magnet for traffic, everyone just runs with the story.

It was even suggested by one English journo on Twitter that Mancini was just being polite to his American hosts and that Man City has no interest in signing Donovan. Alright...

We'll find out soon enough if Donovan is headed back to England this summer or if he'll wait until January. I'm still not clear on his own aspirations, and while I know he makes noises of wanting to go back for the right situation, I get the feeling it wouldn't bother him a bit to stay with the Galaxy.

But if the City rumors, and Mancini's "interest", are legitimate, the question becomes whether that would be a good move for Donovan. On the surface, it doesn't seem so; City's midfielder is crowded and a starting spot might be hard to come by. Initially, I was against Donovan-to-City, and mostly for this reason.

The more that I think about it, though, the more I'm coming around. Donovan is 28 and may never get another chance to join a club with the profile of City. Even if he's fighting for playing time, the risk is worth the reward; should he break into the lineup, and he's certainly capable, it would be a boon both for him professionally and for American soccer's rep abroad. Because, let's face it - it doesn't matter where or how much Landon Donovan is playing, he'll always be a part of the USMNT. It would be nice to have him playing regularly and on top of his game when the Gold Cup rolls around next year, but I'm not sure anyone is going to endure sleepless nights because Donovan isn't starting in England. As for World Cup qualifying, things could always change again for LD before anything serious comes up for the National Team.

By the time it will really matter if Donovan is starting with whatever club he's with, the problem of him sitting on the bench at Man City in 2010-2011 might not be a problem anymore.

If Donovan wants to go and City is paying the price, he should go. Can't be afraid of failure in this situation.

It doesn't matter though, because Mancini was just being polite.
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