The Blues have previously turned to the LA Galaxy forward, in 2010 and January this year, when David Moyes felt his pace and goal threat down the flanks would be a useful addition. And while Donovan, 30, proved in his latest spell that age has not diminished his ability, the £5.5m signing of right-sided attacker Kevin Mirallas from Olympiakos in the summer has lessened the need to move for the US national team’s all-time leading goalscorer again next month. It is also believed that Donovan would in any case be unlikely to feel like using his time after the MLS season to keep fit by playing in the Premier League as he has in the past. Reports from America have suggested the player feels exhausted and burned-out after a season when he scored in the final to bag the Galaxy a second successive MLS Cup, despite battling knee and hamstring problems. That final against Houston Dynamo in October was the Californian’s 49th game in 48 weeks, and in an interview with the LA Times he suggested he may be ready for a prolonged break from the game.
“I’m going to take as much time as I need and decide if and when I’m ready to come back,” he said.
“I can’t put a time frame on that. If it takes two weeks and I’m ready to go again or two months or a year or two years.
“Or never. I don’t know. I’m aware of what I’m feeling, what I’m going through,” he said.
“And if I wake up one day and I say ‘you know what? I’m going to come back and play,’ then I’ll be here within an hour. If that doesn’t happen, if I wake up and I say ‘you know what? That’s enough,’ then I’ll let the people know who need to know and I’ll get on with my life.”