Everton's hopes of retaining Landon Donovan appear to be fading after Los Angeles Galaxy coach Bruce Arena rejected the possibility of a loan extension.
Toffees boss David Moyes revealed on Friday that he was hopeful of extending the USA international's two-month loan spell at Goodison Park.
Donovan has helped transform the Toffees from a mid-table side to one with a genuine chance of securing a European qualification place this season after making 11 appearances for the Merseysiders.
However, with his loan spell set to expire in two weeks, Arena insists that the forward will report back for pre-season training with his club as planned.
"We're not interested (in extending the loan)," he declared. "Landon will be back here on 15 March, as we have said all along."
It would now appear that Everton's only hope of retaining Donovan is that the new Major League Soccer season is delayed following suggestions of an impending player strike before their new campaign begins on March 27.
"If we didn't have a league going on we would certainly entertain the idea of allowing Landon to stay there," conceded Arena.
"If we have a league, Landon's going to be playing for the Galaxy."