Donovan rules out Everton return

LOS ANGELES - U.S. midfielder Landon Donovan will not be heading back to Everton on loan, the player said in a joint-statement with his club LA Galaxy on Tuesday.

Donovan, his country's record goalscorer, had been strongly linked with a return to Everton where he spent a successful loan spell last year but he wants to use the Major League Soccer off-season to rest and recover.

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"While I enjoyed my time at Everton last season and still appreciate all the support their fans have given me, I feel that it is important to continue to rest and recover this off-season as opposed to going on loan," Donovan said.

"I never considered being loaned to a club other than Everton, but I have been playing nearly non-stop for the past two years and I believe that this decision will allow me to perform at my best for the Galaxy and the National Team throughout the upcoming year," he added.

Donovan had spent the previous winter break on loan at German club Bayern Munich and after his spell with Everton was part of the U.S. World Cup team in South Africa.

"We think in the best interest of the club and the player that Landon continues his post-season break and begins preparations for what will be a challenging year in 2011 at both the domestic and international levels," Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said.

"We expect Landon to join our club for the start of preseason training next month as we begin to prepare for the 2011 MLS season," he added.