LA Galaxy's Jonathan dos Santos was 'not even close' to joining America
Jonathan dos Santos has refuted reports that he was close to signing with Club America or used the Mexican team to influence his deal with the LA Galaxy.
The Galaxy's newest designated player completed his move from Villarreal last month and made his debut as a substitute on Aug. 6, before starting in a 2-0 defeat to New York City FC on Saturday night.
And though he acknowledged some talks took place with America, he told ESPN's One Nacion that a move was never realistic.
"Not even close," he said. "Yes it is true that there was conversation, but just the normal talk. I never used America [to get a better deal] as was said.
"The Galaxy offer was, if not 100 percent, it was 98 percent made that I would sign with them. But I am grateful for all the faith everyone had in me. In the end, what most caught my attention was the Galaxy project."
Dos Santos also rejected the notion that he was taking a "step down" in leaving Spain, and said he aimed to bring the level of MLS to match leagues in Europe.
"In life, you have to make decisions. I know that this league is gaining recognition it is getting more competitive and I have come because they have told me there is an opportunity for me to grow as a player," he said.
"We have come to make a name for ourselves, for the club, for MLS and for the national team. This is not a step down [from Europe]. The goal is to play at the same level. People can say what they want but my mind was already made up. Now I just need to show everyone."
Meanwhile, coach Sigi Schmid said Dos Santos has only showed half of his potential in his brief time with the LA Galaxy.
Schmid said the Mexico forward is still getting back to his full form following the summer break he took after playing at the Confederations Cup in Russia in June.
"Based on what we saw on Saturday, despite the fact that he is improving, he is only at 50 percent of what Jonathan can give to the Galaxy," Schmid told ESPN's One Nacion. "And while he is returning to form we must move little by little so we don't run any risk of injury."
The Galaxy, winless in their last eight MLS games, will need him at full speed quickly if they are to make a playoff push. LA is nine points out of the final Western Conference spot with 11 games remaining.
The club got a boost on Thursday as Giovani dos Santos, Jonathan's brother, made his return to training after missing the clash against NYCFC with a leg injury, with Schmid saying he is "75 percent better."
Giovani dos Santos trained apart from the rest of the team but told ESPN he hopes to play on Wednesday at Columbus.
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