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Bayern to pass on Donovan transfer?

Landon Donovan Bayern 3 (Getty) 

Are Landon Donovan's chances of staying with Bayern Munich already gone?

They are if you listen to Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who put some serious cold water on the possibility of Bayern buying Donovan rather than letting him return to MLS on March 9, when his loan deal expires.

"Donovan is an interesting player," Rummenigge said in the Tuesday edition of Munich newspaper TZ. "But when you have Klose, Toni and Olic already under contract, we think the fourth player (striker) should really be a young player with perspective."


Now, this could just be posturing from a chairman who is ready to haggle with his head coach, or someone trying to set the bar low for negotiations with MLS. Then again, it could be Rummenigge's not so subtle message to Juergen Klinsmann that the board will not back making a bid for the U.S. national team star.

What do you think of this development? Still holding out hope that Donovan stays? Think it's a negotiation tactic? Has Donovan already blown his chance to stay? Could he make Rummenigge reconsider with a strong stretch of games?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Seems like this has nothing to do with LD and his time at Bayern, and more to do Tim Leiweke saying last week that Donovan was absolutely returning.

  2. KHR’s comments could be the straight faced truth or posturing. Nevertheless, Landon could help a team in the Bundesliga. Bayern may very well be loaded up front with the likes of Toni and Klose being the first choice tandem,…but that doesn’t mean LD couldn’t be a first choice striker for another Bundesliga side. Let’s consider Roque Santa Cruz. Did he not fail to make an impression at Bayern (with some decent opportunities) and then move to Blackburn and have a monster season last year (20+ goals!)? Bayern is a big club with a big stable….LD would be a nice player for them at a bargain price…but if he doesn’t transfer to Bayern he shouldn’t be thought of as a bad player by any stretch…

  3. I don’t understand why Donovan didn’t go on loan with a side he could start for. Everton were in big need for a striker. What about a mid table spanish club?

    If this whole loan turns out to be for nothing…. what a waste.

  4. Donovan was terrible in the Hertha Berlin match — anyone not watching through fanboi glasses could see. He was timid, he looked to backpass whenever he could, he was dispossessed trivially easily, and when he made a run and teammates fed him the ball he muffed the chance. Mind, I’m not saying he *is* terrible, not at all — just that he was terrible in that match. Unfortunately, he only gets so many chances to impress the Bayern braintrust.

  5. with as much as i dislike LD I thought this would be a good fit for him. Not sure if anyone else is willing to take a risk with him being unhappy and wanting to come home in a year.

    He has a lot of talent that I think can be better developed in the right situation in Europe but I am not sure that there will be another situation like this.

  6. I found these words written by someone on another web site and he’s exactly right:

    (props to FC Tallavana)

    I think Munich is making a mistake by seemingly taking a pass on Donovan. Is he worth $10 million as a third or fourth striker. Maybe not.

    But he would be so much more than a third or fourth striker. He would be valuable cover anywhere in the attack, whether it be up top, in the middle, or on the wings.

    He’s also a guy who will likely be happy playing the role of a utility man, at least for a season or two.

    Finally, he’s a guy who is 99 percent likely to be fit and healthy for every single game.

    Oh well.

    Regardless, I felt all along that the possibility of a perm. transfer had more to do with how well JK was doing than how well LD was doing. As of right now, JK doesn’t have the political capital to spend on Donovan. If they were sitting pretty at the top of the table, with some

    daylight in between, JK could probably sign whoever the hell he wanted for $10 million.

  7. If Donovan doesnt get transfered to Bayern, He is going to find another Euro team to go with. I am pretty sure from his statements he is done with MLS and wants to play football in Europe.

  8. My guess…he’ll stay through the German season and come back midway through the MLS season. Then be a January signing next year with another team.

  9. And Barru U, I totally agree with every word you said. And no other American player would even get a shot at Bayern Munich – except maybe Tim Howard. In fact, they need Tim real bad!

  10. I look at this whole situation with a bittersweet view.

    Personally, I want Donovan to stay here in the MLS so I can watch him play. I tried to catch all of the Galaxy’s games last year just to see what he would do.

    But, I also want to see him progress and become a complete player, which he can accomplish by playing overseas.

    Overall, I’d like to see him move to Europe permanently. I don’t think Germany is the right place for him, Spain suits his style of play better. His speed and technical ability would fit nicely over there.

    I’d rather see him starting on a Valencia or Villareal than coming on as a sub for a Barca or Real Madrid.

  11. How funny is it that everyone was saying LA would be without Beckham and Donovan…and now the tide is quickly turning. I would love to see Donovan succeed, but BM has so much talent that I agree with the statements from the article. If he had been loaned to any other German team, he’d stay…but this doesn’t look good. So much for buying GolTV to watch him! MLS needs Donovan (not Beckham)…as selfish as it is for me to say.

  12. Landon, hasn’t “blown” anything, Yves, and you shouldn’t phrase it that way.

    Donovan has demonstrated he can play. The odds were against him from the beginning. Everyone knows it takes about 6 months to settle in and he’s not even being given 3 months, apparently. I don’t think the FCB board were ever going to sign him to begin with no matter what he did – unless he played like a Lionel Messi.

    He’s not a superstar, just a good player. I admire him for trying to make it on a huge club like FCB. Someone else will pick him up somewhere down the line.

    Anyone calling this a failure on Donovan just don’t know what they’re talking about.

  13. Donovan has played well–even if he hasn’t scored. He has created opportunities, made some great runs, got to take some corner kicks. But, Podolski is coming back from injury and there is a desire to play German national team players rather than an US one. I believe those two are comparable but Lucas will be the preferred option (maybe not by the coach). There is a lot of pressure on Klinsi and Bayern is not a team that will easily part with their money. They got Klose and Olic (next season) on free transfers. I just don’t see a reason for Bayern to keep him around.

  14. I actually hope Beckham and Donovan come back to the Galaxy for the upcoming MLS season. As a Sounders season ticket holder, I was really hoping to be able to join in heckling the hell out of the two of them when they come to Qwest Field, and it looks like I might get my wish!

  15. Donovan needs to grow some balls and become more assertive out on the pitch. The guy has the talent to play anywhere he just doesn’t have the cockiness and swagger that’s needed to set him apart. Maybe when he starts playing with some attitude people will stop calling him Landonp*ssy.

  16. Dave – Oh please, he had ample chances and the biggest of which came last weekend. he blew it. I hope Donovan takes advantage of this coming weekend’s match, but something tells me the Big 3 have made up their minds, although Toni may have thrown a wrench into the equation stating that he misses Serie A action. Let’s just hope and pray he proves he belongs int he big leagues.

  17. Rummenigge’s still pissed off he lost in 1986 and hates anything from this side of the prime meridian 😉
    That said, let LD come back, look awesome again and then transfer elsewhere during the summer window.

  18. Facts sometimes are ingnored by the LD sucks faction of SBI readers. The guy has played 80 minutes in the BL and almost scored three times. Two where very good saves by the keeper. He has been the first or second guy of the bench in every BL game. Bayern has two stikers that play for teams in the FIFA top 10. It has a two wingers that also play for top 10 FIFA teams. Is this all not true?

    With all those things I think LD has done just fine. The talent is evident but maybe Bayern is not the place. But if he gets a shot to play in Europe he will be a very, very, very good pick up for a team.

    Bayern could setting the stage for a low ball offer or just stating the facts of the postion they want to be in.

    But those that still say he is weak, not enough talent, blah blah blah… That is just wrong.

  19. Ives,

    You have to place wjmooner’s “…this Rummenigge dude” at the top of the Comment of the Year list!!

    LOL. Hugely funny. It sounds like the name of a yet to be published LA Galaxy fanzine!

  20. Calling Donovan lazy is simply foolish. And those saying he can’t cut it seemingly haven’t watched the games. Donovan has been decent to good. The problem is, he doesn’t have much time to prove himself and because Bayern is the best club he has to be exceptionally impressive. He has not done that yet. He may, as someone mentioned, played himself into a position that another suitor, in the Bundesliga or elswhere in Europe, could buy him in the summer if the Galaxy/MLS are amenable to that…[which, given his stature and committment to MLS over the years, one would hope they were].

  21. When a player isn’t desired there is no chatter, the player is let go.

    When a player is desired the chatter is loud and clear, it’s part of the negotiating game.

  22. It seems like it is just not enough time for Donovan to establish himself before the return deadline. Too bad I think it would have been good for his game to continue to play with Bayern.

  23. Andy in Atlanta – Um, when are you going to wake up? Klinsmann had a huge role in this, if it wasn’t for him this would never have happened. And when did Atlanta have it’s first comptetive soccer–the 90’s.

    Coach – Gotta agree with you on this.

  24. Why are people insisting that donovan will be gone soon no matter what? The only reason donovan got a chance to tryout with BM is because of klinnsman, who saw a lot of landon during his time in LA and pretty much bent over backwards to get him on loan. If this move doesn’t work out, no way will the galaxy let go of a huge mls player, especially if they end up selling beckham. If donovan doesn’t get sold to BM, he will come back to mls and finish off his mls contract (or buy it out) and THEN he will go to europe.

  25. Rummenigge was never big on Donovan in the first place, not when he knew that at the end of the loan it would require $10 million to keep him. The Donovan loan was part trial and part stop-gap for Bayern, and Rummenigge is right in that the 4th striker should be someone young with lots of upside.

    Combine that with Donovan so far not finishing the chances he gets and it is easy to see that he will be back with the Galaxy in a few weeks.

    Landon is in a tough spot because MLS has done a lot for him. It bailed him out of Leverkusen (even paying them a transfer fee I think!) and then MLS changed its rules regarding salary caps (grandfathered him in) so he could stay in Los Angeles. If they had not done that, he could of wound up in Kansas City or some other place where it would be difficult with an actress wife.

    As far as I know, Landon’s contract is not up for another couple years and he no longer wants to spend his prime playing years in the MLS. That sucks for him.

  26. Donovan looked a little out of sorts last couple Bayern games. I think he’d have to work harder to assert himself, as a younger hungrier player might. He needs to believe he can do better than Luca Toni, and prove it on the pitch.

    Brutally competitive world at that level in top flight soccer. Maybe growing up in the US we don’t have the same sense of how big a deal this all is – other players at that level seem to be able to unleash otherworldly forces from within in the big games and situations. I’d like to see Donovan do that, and earn an undisputed starting spot.

    But perhaps he will just come home.

    Find your ego, young Landon, we’re rooting for your to rule the world (but its all up to you)!

  27. Um…I am pretty sure that most of you do not realize that Landon has come in and been apart of Bayern first team set-up from the start…that is no small acheivement…other Bundesliga teams will know this and coming running for Landon when he is available. Bayerns second 11 could finish in the top half of the BL….

  28. it’s about time for American fans to face it..he is just not good enough. Lazy and doesnt cut it in Europe. In MLS he can afford to stay away from action and tackles for 80 minutes and then display some exceptional skill and talent and knock goals to change the outcome of the games…in Europe you got to be able to do that for 90 minutes and he just cant.

  29. Since you posed the title as a question, I’ll answer it: Yes.

    I still think he’ll go across the pond come summer, but not to there. It was fun while it lasted though.

  30. For those who follow the Bundesliga, this type of talk from the Big 3 is not news. In fact, it’s old news and quite comical, but I wouldn’t bet against what Rummenige and Beckenbauer have said over the past few days. Donovan had ythem fooled in the friendlies, but in the games that count, same old Landon. Future isn’t looking bright for Donovan, but it could be typical German tactic b/c he has shown some promise. That said, given his performance during the BL and my read on German FuSball, I would say he has worn his time thin at the Duetscher Rekord Meisters.

  31. What does this “Karl-Heinz Rummenigge” know about the beautiful game?!?

    Before someone jumps on me… I still remember my precious copy of Kicker magazine from 1982 with a photo of Rummenigge after their epic semifinal victory over France… THAT was “the thrill of victory” (never mind that little love tap that Schumacher gave Battiston).

  32. Again, this is brilliant for Galaxy.

    LD will have bidders in the summer for significantly more than they would cede him to Bayern.

    While I think Rummenigge’s connotation was cheap, I agree with Rummenigge’s theory on building the roster (responsibly). If they were going to buy Olic this January (who is 29 and has zero appearances for Bayern) then why bring in Donovan? It really should have been either/or, not both.

    Best thing for Galaxy would be for Donovan to score some goals in the next two weeks, and then come back home. Then Arena/Leweike should begin immediately shopping him for June.

  33. I’m not really that put off by the comment. maybe by the “perspective” part, but Donovan isn’t young anymore. Not that he’s old, but I think the point is to have a 20 year old type of kid that could be there for many years and grow and improve a lot. If he doesn’t want Donovan, maybe Donovan will just end up elsewhere for good next summer or winter. I think he’s shown that he can compete at this level.

  34. Four games, zero starts. It’s exactly what I (and many others) had feared – there are simply too many good players at Bayern. He will not be able to get significant playing time there even if they bought him.

    The transfer to Bayern was a big mistake, as I said when it was announced in the first place. He needs to go to a place where he can get significant playing time. Bayern is not such a place.

  35. LD belongs in Europe in one of the big 4 leagues, but I don’t he had a real shot at Bayern. I think it was more of a showcase to other Bundesliga teams to make a serious offer.

    Some team that needs a striker will come along and make an offer for LD. I think the Galaxy want to get rid of LD and DB both. That is my 2 cents.

  36. I’m not really surprised by this. I think he could latch on next year rather than this year, for the exact reason that Bayern’s chairman just said. Maybe the striker situation there isn’t as muddled next season, and they will have a bit more room for him. Klinsmann obviously likes LD, he’s been giving him some run in league games.

    I think Landon would fit in well somewhere in Spain…so maybe it could be a blessing in disguise, which lets him go somewhere over the summer where he can be a first option

  37. Yea, because Donovan is such an old geezer. I’m sure he’ll find a place in Europe soon if not at Bayern. I will say that Donovan’s versatility (second striker, winger, attacking mid) is completely ignored by this Rummenigge dude. And he can do corner kicks!


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