USA star loaned

Bayern borrow Landon Donovan from Galaxy

November 20, 2008
By Soccernet staff

Bayern Munich are set to sign USA international Landon Donovan on a loan deal running from Jan 1 to at least the middle of March and possibly until the end of the season.

GettyImagesDonovan turned down his own chance to stay in Europe

Donovan, 26, who has made over a century of caps for his country, has been training with Bayern for the last week and a half and has impressed Bayern coach Juergen Klinsmann, who was a technical advisor at the Galaxy before he took over as Bayern coach on July 1.

"I've had the pleasure to see him throughout the years living in Los Angeles and I've always said to friends of mine [that] he could make it in Europe," Klinsmann said in an interview with ESPN's Press Pass. "It's more a mental thing than it is a football thing.

"Now [Donovan] comes in as a mature player ... He's a far more confident player. He has the physical capabilities, he has the technical capabilities."

Having struggled to impress on his last sojourn to the Bundesliga when he had a brief spell at Bayer Leverkusen, Donovan said he is enjoying his time in Munich and is keen to stay.

"As a person and a player, I am completely different now to how I was then, I have matured. I am ready. I believe I can keep up with all the other players, even if I am not the best player here."

Having struggled to make the grade in Germany last time, Donovan admits he has learned from the experience. "I recognise Leverkusen wasn't the problem, I was," he said. "I just wasn't ready for it."

And Bayern manager Uli Hoeness has been impressed with what he has seen so far. "What he has shown so far is okay, he can certainly kick," said Hoeness.

Donovan top scored in Major League Soccer's regular season with 20 goals in 25 matches for LA Galaxy team.

His loan follows that of David Beckham to AC Milan, also for three months, though in contrast Galaxy and Milan have both said that deal will end in March.