Thursday, August 8, 2013

LA Galaxy hope to keep in-demand stars Donovan and Gonzalez

Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena says the team is working on new deals for Donovan and Gonzalez but both players insist they are considering all options.
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Los Angeles Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena is hoping that he will be able to sign both Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez to contract extensions.

A source told Goal on Monday that Donovan has serious interest from European clubs. Media outlets have also reported that Gonzalez is gaining interest from the continent as well. Donovan and Gonzalez's contracts expire at the end of December.

After the Galaxy's 2-0 loss to AC Milan in the Guinness ICC third-place match at Sun Life Stadium, Arena acknowledged that it could be difficult to retain the United States international midfielder. However, he said the two sides have started contract negotiations.

"Landon will have options and will have to make decisions as well," Arena said. "I'd think he's receptive [to staying]."

Donovan reiterated his desire to keep his options open.

"I'm open to anything," he insisted. "I want to keep enjoying myself. I think things are going to fall into place. I'm going to keep enjoying myself and keep doing well and we'll see what happens."

While Donovan may be seriously considering leaving MLS, his U.S. national teammate Gonzalez could be close to signing a new deal with Los Angeles. reported that LA has offered its third Designated Player slot to Gonzalez, a week after Soccer By Ives revealed that Stoke approached him on a pre-contract. Neither Arena nor Gonzalez would confirm either reports.

Arena insisted that he hopes to keep the 24-year-old center back in MLS but wouldn't add anything else.

"I don't comment on any of that until those things are reality," Arena said. "We haven't made any decisions and nothing is official at this point. We'd like to keep Omar with the Galaxy."

Gonzalez appeared to be non-committal on his future.

"I'd rather not to talk about it," he said. "There's a lot of different things going on and who knows what will happen in the next month."

Gonzalez was then asked if he was any closer to determining where he'd play next season and stated: "I don't know."

Could be an interesting offseason for the Galaxy as the current reigning MLS Cup holders could be forced into finding replacements for its star core after the season.