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Oct 27, 2008

Galaxy star Donovan eyeing European move

Los Angeles Galaxy striker Landon Donovan is eyeing a move to the English Premier League or Spain's La Liga in the January transfer window.

The United States' all-time leading goalscorer played his last game of the season for the Galaxy in a 2-2 home draw with FC Dallas at the Home Depot Center at the weekend, during which he converted a penalty for his 20th goal to win the MLS golden boot for 2008.

The 26-year-old who had an unsuccessful stint at Bayer Leverkusen before signing for Los Angeles in 2005, believes his future lies in England or Spain and has already been in contact with Bayern Munich boss Jurgen Klinsmann about a move to the German Bundesliga.

''I'd love to play in the Premiership, I think that would be incredible,'' Donovan said.

''I'd love to play in Spain.

''Whether that happens I don't know but I think where my qualities are best would be in a team that plays. I'm not going to go and battle John Terry and expect to win but if I can get on a team that plays good soccer I think I could help.''

''I watch games every weekend and it's exciting watching those games and I think I could contribute on a lot of teams,'' Donovan added, when asked specifically about English football. ''It would be a much easier fit than most places, for sure.

''Obviously, there's a lot of ifs. If the Galaxy is okay with me going, if the League is willing to accept an offer, if an offer comes.

''In my situation I can't be super picky but if it's the right offer and makes sense with the right team...there's a lot of ifs.

''But from my standpoint I'm ready to take that step and I want to.

''Competitively I have that itch and I want to go and I will make that very clear to people.''

Donovan said he would approach MLS officials this week to request a move and added that he had told Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena of his wish to join a European club.

''I think the League is aware of my situation and I've had brief talks with Bruce about it and let him know, but it's still early.

''There can be a lot of fluctuation between now and January 1. Teams that are in trouble might be playing great by then and vice versa. Injuries happen and we'll see where we're at.''

Donovan accepted that following his first spell in Germany, he might be a harder sell to top European clubs but said he now had a different mindset and approach to his profession.

''I'm ready and I wasn't ready before in any way or capacity. I'm ready and I want to make the most of that. I've only got one career and I want to make sure that I give myself a chance.''

Donovan's request to quit MLS comes at the end of a week in which Galaxy captain David Beckham's commitment to the LA cause has been called into question following news of his desire to join AC Milan on loan during the MLS close season.

Beckham backed his team-mate's ambition but said he hoped the American would stay at the Galaxy in 2009.

''I'd like to see him remain here but he's 26 years old, I've heard the rumours about him going to Europe and if he does, good luck to him.

''He's a good player, everybody knows that and he's succeeded here in the US so if he does get the chance to go to Europe and enjoy some success over there it's down to him.

''Obviously I hope he stays here because he's valuable to the team.''

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