David Moyes (AP Photo).
LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Everton manager David Moyes says a possible Major League Soccer players’ strike could enable Landon Donovan to extend his loan at the Premier League club.
Everton’s match against Birmingham on Saturday is expected to be the last of Donovan’s 10-week loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy.
But MLS players voted Thursday to strike if a new labor contract isn’t agreed on before the season opener on March 25.
Moyes said Friday that if the players do strike, “we can keep” Donovan.
But Galaxy coach Bruce Arena expects his captain back after this weekend, saying Thursday “we’re proceeding ahead like we do a couple of weeks before any season.”
Moyes says he’s not sure if Birmingham will be Donovan’s last game with the team.
“There is still a chance that there could be a players’ strike in the US and that could give
us the chance of having him a bit longer,” Moyes said. “He has done really well. He settled in very quickly and he has had an impact on the club in the short time he has been here, so we couldn’t have asked for more from him.
“We have never talked about a permanent deal. But I think he will return to the States and say, ‘Wow, the Premier League is where I want to be.'”
And Moyes would like Donovan back next year during the MLS offseason.
“If Landon was available again next January, I would probably try to bring him back here,” Moyes said. “Everyone wants to be somewhere that they are loved and cherished, which he certainly is in the U.S.
“But there is a different situation when you can be playing in the best league in the world
against the best players. And if you want to be recognized at that level, Landon would
probably want to have the opportunity to give it a go.”
Fox Soccer Channel airs the Birmingham City-Everton game at 7 a.m. Saturday.