Landon Donovan has told LA Galaxy he wishes to extend his loan deal with Everton after making a real impression at Goodison, but the United States forward is prepared for disappointment.
Donovan underlined his value to the Toffees when scoring in Sunday's 5-1 victory over Hull but he is due to return to Los Angeles on March 15 following a three-month loan, meaning Saturday's Premier League game at Birmingham City is expected to be his last under David Moyes.
Everton are keen to extend the arrangement but Galaxy have so far proved highly resistant to any attempt to keep Donovan. However, manager Bruce Arena has admitted a labour dispute in MLS could yet see Donovan remain in England for another month.
The player is certainly keen to extend his stay in the Premier League and feels he has improved during his brief spell in England, but Donovan will certainly return to Los Angeles before April 15 in time for the start of the MLS season.
"I have told Galaxy what I want; they know what's going on and I speak to my manager there often," Donovan said in the Telegraph. "Both clubs know how I feel, which is that I would like to stay, though I can't end the season here, I'd have to go back April 15 at the latest.
"If that can be worked out, great. If not, then the Galaxy are my team and I'm very grateful for the chance I had here. It would be bittersweet either way.
"I'd like to go back home and start with my team-mates, I miss them, because I have played with them for three, four, five years in LA, if I leave here I will be excited to go home, but it would be sad to leave.
"It's absolutely improved me. It's impossible not to. I have learnt a lot technically, tactically, how to keep myself motivated. It absolutely puts me in a stronger position for the World Cup. But the biggest thing is having the confidence I can play against anybody and not fear anyone.
"We can't worry about what people think of the US. I want to do well and what people think about us, what they perceive, is out of our control."
Donovan has become a popular figure amongst the Everton playing staff and supporters, and defender Phil Jagielka is certainly keen to see his colleague remain at Goodison Park.
"I'd love to see Landon stay for longer," he said. "He's had a smile on his face during his time here and has been fantastic from start to finish. If he can't stay this time then hopefully we'll see him back here in the future.
"I know he didn't enjoy it when he played in Germany but he has enjoyed it here and we've loved having him. Back in January we needed a fresh face and a fresh pair of legs and he gave us that. Within a few days he was one of the boys and made an instant contribution at Arsenal.
"Having spoken to Tim Howard about him before we always knew he was going to fit in well and Landon is a fantastic character
"If next weekend is his last game we're certainly going to miss him."