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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. I don’t think it’s fair to say he already ‘blew’ his chances. Everyone knows he’s no Messi. It’s not easy to come into topflight euro competition and make an impact in 3 games off the bench. Just hope the level of play inspires him to continue playing in Europe. Would love to see him in La Liga…

  2. Yeah, regardless of whether FCB buy him, this has to have been a great experience for Donovan and he’ll be a better player for it. Bottom line: I really do not believe the Galaxy will sell him right now no matter what – unless BM offer some outrageous sum, which of course they won’t, nor should they.

    My worry, though, is that they won’t sell him in the summer transfer season either. Juergen Klinsmann came calling for him over the summer and Galaxy said NO WAY, not in the middle of the season. Why would this summer be any different? Unless they are planning for it already, which could be. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed.

  3. lol how can anyone say it was a mistake?!?! no matter what happens LD just spent the past few months playing for Bayern Munich rather than sipping Piña Coladas on the beach. give it a rest.

  4. Well, sometimes these transfers look unpromising, or even hopeless, then things suddenly change, such as the Arshavin deal with Arsenal. Every indicator there was that Zenit St. Petersburg was absolutely going to hold Arshavin to his contract, but in the end they did not. I wouldn’t write this one off until Donovan’s current stay there is done.

  5. Donovan would be a solid fit at Bremen and/or Schalke 04, both of whom are in rare mid table positions and could use a strike force to get them to the EUFA Cup next season.

    As much as I would love to see Donovan continue in Die Rot-Weiss trikot, I don’t think it will happen. That is unless there is something more to this Toni story longing for Serie A and coaxing Ribery to come along with.

  6. Vu – You are not saying anything different than I had previously suggested, specifically the change from the friendlies and the BL matches.

    There is no doubt his level play took a turn for the worse, thus prompting Rummenigge to voice his concern. But for those of us who have followed the BL over the years, this is nothing out of the ordinary, in fact, part of the positioning. If you recall, Klinsmann said prior to Donovan’s arrival that this was not a good year for clubs to buy b/c of the “financial meltdown.” He set the tone, early on and now Rumminegge is following it through, but he means business. The signal is loud and clear, “shape up or ship out.” I could see Donovan going to a Schalke 04 or Werder Bremen to increase their chances of a EUFA bid.

    The game goes to who that my comments about playing well whether given 10 or 50 or 90 mins proves true. He played better in the games with less minutes than he did last week. As for something happening in the locker room, could be, and it may be Donovan–the fact that, yes, he is American. Ever been an American on a German club side? I am, and when I get the nod over a teammate, it’s b/c I gave 110% of my blood and sweat trying to make it–think the trainer enjoys watching me die trying more than anything. On weeks of training where my 100% was better than the 75% of some fellow mates, I might fail to get the nod. Why, you’re guess is as good as mine.

    Although I relish seeing Donovan play the Full 90, after last week’s perfromance, I am cringing at the thought. Now that Poldi is 100% fit – and I have one word for Poldi = p*$$y. No respect for the punk.

  7. Firstly, what does Rummenigge mean when he says a “young player with perspective” when he speaks of the 4th striker spot?? It’s very vague. Rummenigge should understand that if you give Donovan enough minutes, he WILL score goals.

    Having said all of that, Donovan may be better off at an EPL club. He assuredly has the pace for the English game, and there are several clubs in the EPL who need quality stikers.

  8. Landycakes will be fine. If he’s not suiting up for Bayern it will be for another club in Europe. He’s in a tough spot with the quality talent at Bayern. Plus lets be honest here. Landycakes may be the best in America/MLS but that does not translate to great in Europe. In Europe he’s probably a good player at best. Good may not be good enough for a spot in Bayern’s regular rotation.

  9. I think that this is not the best option. What about a Spanish club, Atletico (pretty stacked up front), or Valencia, ect., or France PSG, or Marseille?

  10. There’s no question that the Bayern board is a political rats nest full of competing factions. Rummenigge, Beckenbauer and god knows how many others all compete for influence on the roster behind the scenes. I got the impression that Rummenigge was most closely associated with Olic, and it would be natural for him to devalue a competitor for time.

    Klinsmann tried to clamp down on these competing quotes from all the board by banning Bild (German newspaper equivalent to the NY Post or a Fleet Street rag) from coverage, but it’s an impossible task.

    Hoeness(GM) has the final decision, so although this quote by Rummenigge can’t be good and clearly puts the pressure squarely on Donovan to perform, there may still be a chance. Perhaps Hoeness would ask himself the question who is better, Donovan or Olic? If the answer is Olic than any fourth striker is disposal and Donovan won’t be asked to stay, for it makes sense to experiment with youth at that spot.

    Best way for Donovan to make the debate more interesting is to score and assist on goals that matter in the next couple of games.

  11. Fun to speculate, eh?

    I still laugh when people claim he isn’t cutting it for FCB. Clearly, he is. Whether they want him bad enough for the price that will be asked for him is another matter.

    Maybe FCB will loan him to 1860. 🙂

  12. I think the BM President’s comments are a bargaining position as well s a lowering a realized expectations. The Galaxy DO NOT NEED the transfer fees that the sale of Donovan and Beckham would bring. The fact that each of the players have long ago expressed their intent to play again in Europe was realized a while ago by the MLS and the Galaxy. The loaning of the players was to scratch the itch that each player needed, explore the “possibility” of a future sale and to add “value” to the players future (or non-future) with the MLS. In short, the Galaxy and the MLS do not need the money, but they DO need the exposure and the butts-on-seats that these two players bring. Having them together for one more year as the league builds with an additional team is more useful than a buttload of cash.

    The other factor to consider that these are the two most valuable tranfer commodities the MLS has, they will not be let go in order to NOT HURT the players feelings or thier desire to play on Euro Teams. Pro Football is a sport but it is also a business. I expect the MLS to play hardball with both BM and Milan to maximize a transfer offer. If AC Milan “really” wanted Beckham they would have easily met the 10 mil euro offer bandied about BEFORE he left. Low-balling a offer of 3 mil Eu is a bargaining position. For Donovan BM is telling him; “yeah, your a good player, but not a 10 mill Eu good player” SO here an offer for 5 mil Eu take it or leave it.

    The MLS should and will leave it.

    I will be buying my tickets for the final pre-season game for the Galaxy in Phx,AZ. I expect to see Donovan and Beckham there too.

  13. Could this merely be a test by Rummenigge to see how LD handles the pressure of playing for Bayern? He’s likely to see major time, if not start, over the next couple of games with Toni being hurt. He wants to see what LD is made of and is essentially calling him out.

    If LD steps up and plays well, Rummenigge can easily reconsider his stance and make a bid. If LD doesn’t impress, it’s pretty much a “told ya so” from the Bayern legend.

  14. It makes sense if Olic will be the third striker. How did Rummenigge determine that Olic would beat out Landon, performance? It would be interesting to hear his explanation on this.

  15. Papa bear, landon been getting minutes because all parties wanted to give him a chance to prove, not that he deserves it from the way he’s been playing. Now I am not talking about scoring, you haven’t even showed he wanted it bad enough, hard enough. His motivation from friendly games did not carry into real games.

  16. It’s gamesmanship by Rummenegge. He knows damn well Donovan can play out left or right or either forward position. He doesn’t want to soil himself in the press sounding like a giddy school girl so he can drive the price down.

    This is because he knows one thing: This is Bayern München. It’s easily one of the top 8 biggest clubs on earth and players give up a little to play with a team and for a club like Bayern. Donovan would DESPERATELY love to stay and his desire to leave LA and stay will help Bayern drive the price south a bit more to their liking.

    I mean, Donovan has been one of the first guys off the bench. That doesn’t sound like a useless player to me. If the price is to their liking, Bayern are buying. I hope they do so Donovan can cut his chops at a club that is as big as it gets.

  17. Der Ami, I’m not feeling your vibe, baby. What message are you trying to send me?

    Gloves off? Concede? Say what?

    FCB’s loss is some other team’s gain.

  18. I am sorry for him. 15 years from now he is going to have regrets about Europe if he never makes it over there. At 26 he finally realized that but now the breaks are going all the wrong way.

  19. Yes, Perspektive is basically potential.

    Rummenigge also said this to sportbild: “We’re going to have to decide in the next few weeks what’s going to happen with him. Now we’re getting into some important games, where we’ll see if he helps us along. That’s the crucial criterion.”

    Of course we know the pressure’s on, but it’s important to note that Rummi at least publicly is leaving the door open to LD.

  20. Ameri kaiser and nicole,

    I think something was rather unusual about landon’s playing in the hertha berlin game. In the first 2 BL games, landon was OK. This last game was not. His two misses were excusable since Toni has not scored since the BL resumed. Landon has always been a cocky, over confident. When the loan period began, he was really motivated, self-assured of his ability. You can tell by the comments he made. Give the coach selection headache, I am my own style, etc. Now, being tired doesn’t mean he had to be afraid on the pitch. He passed back everytime he got the ball. He did not engage in good positions or made space for him. Many times he appeared lost or unsure of what his role was supposed to be-striker or midfield. About the gift from ribery, other times landon would try one more touch past the keeper since he was coming down with speed and the keeper already commited out but his hesitation cost him a goal. But that was not as crucial as many think. His display of lack of confidence and effort was so obvious that as a hardcore fan like me can not deny. A month ago he thought and I believe he still think he can challenge klose, toni and Lucas, but his lack of fire and confidence on the pitch showed he doesn’t even belong there. It was not like his team mates showed any better except ribery so where did this lack of confidence come from? Something must have happened within the team. Before BL resumed after the break, everyone was talking about how BM has come together with better chemistry and all, then suddenly Van Bommel talked about ribery should move to spain, and van bommel unsure to stay or to leave, and now toni, and the management discontent with ribery’s and toni’s selfishness. So much for good chemistry. I am sure something is going on in the locker room and it affected landon as well as other BM players lately.

  21. Donovan fans, you’re delusional. The equation is simple:
    – He was a brilliant goal scorer in a handful of friendlies, so they kept him on.

    – He’s had a handful of chances in legit games, and has blown them.

    That’s it. He had his shot. It is now gone. You’re either clinical when it counts or you aren’t. He’ll be back in MLS this season.

  22. First, I may be wrong, but I believe “Perpektive” is used in reference to the young players (they just signed a striker and a defender from their 2 team) having “more upside” as young players, rather than Donovan who may not come cheap and is a tad older. Like, they are an overall better prospect. But that is just my perspective. 🙂 It wasn’t necessarily a slam like LD has no vision or something. Any German help here? Ami Kaiser–any help from your deutscher Fussball buddies?

    “blown it?” He hasn’t blown anything, certainly not the top brass. Granted, if he’d come on like Gerd Mueller or Maradona, or maybe that Rummenigge dude (lol), he would help his chances. He does need to score, but he is playing well.

    LAZZZZZYYYY? You are officially barred from posting anymore.

    Peace Out.

  23. Unfortunately he was given very little time to prove himself and didn’t take advantage of it. I think that is much more of an indictment of the situation than it is of his talent.

    When his loan is up, if he does come back to MLS, what has he lost? Really nothing. He was able to play first team ball with a top notch side during his regular club’s offseason. Not a bad way to stay fit.

    My only fear would be that if he’s not “retained” in Germany, that he comes back sulking and gives a lame effort this year.

  24. All the talk about a Donovan transfer refers to him having a $10 million dollar price tag. Where did that number come from? I wouldn’t expect Bayern to be interested in Landon at that hefty price (especially if he is more of a ulility guy), but is that his real price? Or is that something someone wrote long ago and it just stuck for whatever reason? I know that $10 Mil was Altidore’s transfer fee, but that doesn’t seem to have much to do with Donovan. Can anyone clarify?

  25. IMHO, the best situation for Landon would be to go to a smaller European team where he could get regular minutes and get his confidence up a bit. He is now playing better at the Bundesliga level than when he first went to Leverskusen. I don’t think he he is a starter over Luca Toni or Miroslav Klose, but he belongs at this level.

    I am hoping that he plays well enough in his last games to either stick with Bayern or land with another Euro club.

  26. One thing that annoyed me in the one game that I really got to watch Landon play in for Bayern (the one where Klose scored 2 after Landon came in) was the fact that they brought Hamit Altintop in to ruin the whole game… If not for him, Landon might’ve had a goal and an assist.
    I know Altintop’s a good player, but on this day he was horrible.

  27. He’ll land with a Euro club either way.

    This isn’t really all that disappointing though. I think his stay at Bayern was always going to be a launching pad to another team where he could be a mainstay. At Bayern he was always looking to be a spot starter and first or second substitution. At his age, Landon needs to be an everyday player for his club.

    The sad part about this, if it is indeed true that Bayern are not interested in a transfer, is that the decision was reached with very little chance for Landon to show his skills.

    His best chunk of minutes came only days after playing 90 minutes for his country before making a transatlantic flight for one day of training.

    But, if the issue is financial, there isn’t much to say on the matter. I will say they will probably wish he was still there come March if Toni doesn’t return to form. Olic is staying with Hamburg until the end of the season and Podolski is already on the outside looking in, so who else would they have outside Klose?

    I’m still skeptical his loan won’t be extended to the summer though. I doubt they would have placed him on the Champions League roster if they didn’t plan on him being there for the later stages. Come summertime though, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him offering his services to other clubs.

  28. Oh No! Landon Donovan isn’t a starter for one of the biggest/wealthiest clubs in the world! Heavens no!

    I love how people on here are talking baout him being “lazy” and “weak” because he hasn’t scored a goal yet in his handful of league games. Typical american fans. I suppose they all listen to that drivel spewing out of Cohen’s mouth about “landy-cakes.”

    What many aren’t acknowledging is the fact that just because he isn’t a starter over Toni/Klose doesn’t mean he can’t play. He’s good enough for most teams in Europe. He is. You may not like him, but he ABSOLUTELY is good enough. He may not start for Bayern, Chelsea, Man U, or other power houses, but he’s good enough to play in a major league.

    I want to see him in Spain for a team like Atletico Madrid or another mid-high level club. He could really shine in a situation like that.

    Get off his back though. Just because BM isn’t the best fit doesn’t mean he isn’t quality.


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