LA Galaxy are adamant Landon Donovan will not be allowed to extend his loan contract with Everton, although the threat of industrial action in MLS may yet force a rethink for the American club.
Donovan joined Everton on loan in January and has made a positive impact for the Toffees in the eight appearances he has made in the Premier League. Indeed, David Moyes detailed on Friday how he has enquired about extending the ten-week deal.
With the MLS season due to start on March 27 though, Galaxy are determined to bring Donovan back to California and manager Bruce Arena has adopted a strong stance in response to suggestions that a deal could be struck with Everton.
"We're not interested," Arena said. "Landon will be back here March 15. We're being consistent with everything we've said all along."
One factor could sway Arena though as the MLS is currently embroiled in a labour dispute, with talks between the league and the players' union continuing. If an agreement is not reached and the start of the season is delayed, then Donovan may yet remain at Goodison Park.
"Obviously the collective bargaining could change that [Donovan returning]," Arena said. "If we didn't have a league going on, we would certainly entertain the idea of allowing Landon to stay there. If we have a league, Landon's going to be playing for the Galaxy."
If no new agreement is found with Galaxy, then Sunday's game against Hull City will be the last one Donovan plays at Goodison Park.