Landon Donovan teased his fans Monday morning with an Instagram photo depicting a continental breakfast and a copy of the International New York Times along with a message reading, “I love winters in Europe with good food, good people and good reading #europeanwinter.”
Let the loan speculation begin again, despite the denials and the fact that the transfer window doesn’t open until the new year.
It turns out Donovan was just having a bit of fun with us. Two sources tell SI.com that he’s headed to the Czech Republic, not Goodison Park in Liverpool. It is unclear whether he’ll be in Prague for an official appearance or if it is just a quick vacation, but it is fair to assume he didn’t pack his shin guards.
L.A. Galaxy coach Bruce Arena tried to end the loan conversation last week, telling the club website, “Our players aren’t going anywhere … They had a full 11 months of playing and they need some time off.” Arena said he expected Donovan and Omar Gonzalez to join the U.S. national team for its January camp.
Donovan told reporters nearly three weeks ago that he needed to rest his sprained left ankle, which he’d been struggling with since September.
“My aim is to take at least the next four weeks and probably six weeks and let the ankle heal and then get myself ready,” he said, adding that he intends to speak with U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann “and see if [January camp is] something he wants me to be a part of.”
That didn’t stop the British press, however. Multiple reports surfaced last week claiming that Donovan was considering a third loan spell with Everton. The Daily Express claimed that Donovan “is keen to prepare for the World Cup by using the end-of-season break in the MLS to come to England again” and the Daily Mirror insisted, “Donovan will make an emotional return to Everton for a THIRD time when he signs a short-term deal in January.”
An emotional return is unlikely. For now, Donovan seems quite satisfied with his newspaper and bread basket.
Later Monday, Donovan posted this photo:
Update: Donovan posted this photo early Tuesday morning. "FRA" is the airport code for Frankfurt.