CARSON, CA - JULY 22: Landon Donovan  of the Los Angeles Galaxy looks on prior to a corner kick in the second half of their MLS match against the San Jose Earthquakes at The Home Depot Center on July 22, 2010 in Carson, California. Donovan scored on the rebound to tie the game 2-2. The Earthquakes and the Galaxy played to a 2-2 draw. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

Everton doesn't have the money. Manchester City's interest was spurious at best, and they have a massive squad to whittle down besides. No other concrete links have popped up, and barring a minor miracle, Landon Donovan will be finishing out the 2010 MLS season playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

But a lack of transfer funds doesn't mean Everton isn't interested in bringing him back; if David Moyes can't/won't buy Donovan's services, he's more than happy to rent them again come January. Donovan appears emotionally attached to the Toffees after his loan there last year, and with his comfort level in SoCal being what it is, it's difficult to see any other outcome than another January loan. For fans wishing for Donovan to head to Europe permanently, that would no doubt be a let down. For MLS though, it would be the best of both worlds; keeping their most marketable and talented American player at home to grow the game domestically while allowing him to trot off to Europe for a few months in the winter and spread his proverbial wings.

One has to wonder if a repeat of 2009 would satisfy Donovan, whether Everton is the only club he'd truly consider a permanent move to, and if there is truly significant interest from anyone else. The market is not robust for 28-year old outside midfielders with 8 figure price tags, and it's not only cash-strapped Everton that would pass on such a player. Donovan's ability to sell shirts back in the States might help a bit, but it doesn't necessary justify the expenditure.

Oddly enough Donovan, with Beckham blazing the trail, has managed to create a new program for US-based star players. Each had unique circumstances that enabled them to force the Galaxy and MLS to let them head to Europe in the American off-season, so perhaps we won't see something like this again. But with a precedent set, it wouldn't come as a total surprise if other MLSers pushed the league to let them do the same in the future, especially if the transfer market tightens, MLS desperately clings to its talent with high valuations, and late-blooming stars find themselves good enough to play in Europe but too old to have serious transfer offer materialize.

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