Everton have confirmed forward Landon Donovan's loan spell has officially ended and the American will return to Los Angeles Galaxy.
As late as Saturday evening, after the 2-2 draw at Birmingham, manager David Moyes was still holding out hope they could hang onto the United States international.
"He is on a plane home. We are still trying to do something. You never know, who knows?" he told the post-match press conference.
However, Everton on Sunday posted a lengthy farewell interview with Donovan on their website in which they confirmed the loan deal had ended.
"Landon Donovan has returned to LA Galaxy following his 10-week loan," the story on www.evertonfc.com read.
"Despite attempts to extend Donovan's loan period at Everton, LA Galaxy have now recalled him to their squad ahead of the start of the MLS season on March 27.
"It is still unclear if the American league will kick off on time as the threat of a players' strike looms following disagreements over the labour contract currently in place."
Donovan paid tribute to the club's fans on his departure.
"I'm 28 years old now and I've played over 100 times for my country, I've also played a lot of league games in different parts of the world," he told evertonTV.
"But I've never met a fan base like this, either playing for them or as an away player. Forget about football for a moment, this is a life experience I'll never forget."