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Los Angeles Galaxy fans can breathe easy after the European transfer window closed without a big-money move for Landon Donovan.
Donovan was the subject of repeated interest from several European teams. English Premier League club Everton was determined to bring him back following a successful loan spell earlier in the year.
According to a source close to the EPL team, Everton came back with a final bid on deadline day despite earlier rejections. The Toffees were rebuffed once more by Major League Soccer.
"We have said all along that Landon is not going anywhere," said Tom Payne, the Galaxy's president of business operations. "What people seem to forget is that we are in the middle of our season and we are going for a [MLS] championship.
"Yes, Landon had a great World Cup, as we expected he would. Of course, that leads to interest and speculation. But to send him off elsewhere at this time, when he is so tuned into the core of what we are trying to achieve, would be disingenuous and is certainly not the direction we are looking to take."
Donovan's skills were much admired around the Premiership during his 10-week stint in England, but a price tag thought to have been in the region of $16 million was too steep for Everton's budget.
Bradley's licensing hurdle
Bob Bradley's public flirtations with Aston Villa and Fulham – when he admitted publicly that he would be interested in both jobs – kept him in the news for several weeks and added an extra element to the contract extension negotiations with U.S. Soccer.
However, even though Bradley inked an improved four-year extension on Monday, there was never any realistic chance of him taking over a Premier League club.
The EPL has rules in place stating that all of its managers must hold the UEFA Pro License qualification. Bradley's American A license is not deemed sufficient.
In previous cases, exceptions have been made but only for young English managers. A Premiership source told Yahoo! Sports last weekend that any exemption for Bradley would have been "highly unlikely."
England bid gets green light
The U.S. bidding committee that is aiming to secure hosting rights for the 2018 or 2022 World Cup faces its most critical period next week when a FIFA evaluation team embarks on a whistle-stop three-day tour.
Jurgen Mainka, one of the directors of the USA bid, told me on Monday that U.S. Soccer chiefs are determined to ensure the tour runs smoothly and undergone extensive planning to ensure no hiccups.
However, there have been no drastic measures such as those used by the rival England bid, which arranged for traffic lights in central London to be rigged to ensure a clear path for the FIFA delegation's convoy of cars and avoid the traditionally nightmarish traffic in the capital.
Villa's coaching dilemma
Aston Villa has still not ruled out making a controversial and highly questionable approach to Fulham boss Mark Hughes as its search for a new head coach continues.
Villa was left in a tight spot when former manager Martin O'Neill quit five days before the start of the season. Interim manager Kevin MacDonald is the favorite to get the job on a full-time basis, but a source close to the club's board revealed that owner Randy Lerner has not yet abandoned the idea of trying to pry Hughes away from Fulham – the club he joined just weeks ago.
Hughes craved the Villa position and would have been virtually certain to be offered it had O'Neill's resignation come before his signing with Fulham. Trying to secure the services of Hughes so soon after he joined a new team would raise ethical issues – and if Hughes did jump ship so quickly, it would leave a mark on his reputation.
MLS's $200 million boost
Major League Soccer this week struck a significant deal by completing a new eight-year, $200 million marketing deal with Adidas. The contract replaced the previous deal worth $150 million over 10 years and is a serious boost to MLS in difficult economic times.
Most of the discussions were thrashed out during the World Cup in South Africa, when MLS chiefs and the Adidas hierarchy negotiated in person and looked to build a collective blueprint for future success. The deal, which was rubber-stamped last weekend and announced on Monday, will focus heavily on youth development.