Real Salt Lake is set to sign Landon Donovan, former LA Galaxy star, according to multiple sources close to the club’s front office.
This would bring to a close weeks of speculation about Donovan’s future and RSL’s interest in the player — weeks that have seen the status of the move fluctuate significantly.
We have sought confirmation from RSL Communications on the signing, who have yet to issue an official comment.
Donovan, 34, retired from professional soccer following the 2014 MLS campaign, returning to soccer 18 months later to play — again — for LA Galaxy.
The news comes after weeks of speculation about Donovan’s future, with his former club indicating he was set to retire. It didn’t take long for rumors surrounding a move to Real Salt Lake to circulate, and they gained further traction before the interest being confirmed as genuine by general manager Craig Waibel.
A bump in the road came later, when reports surfaced that the move was in jeopardy, then dead, largely owing to concerns about MLS and CBA rules surrounding the movement and contract size of free agents.
The move was recently more or less dead, but rumors came bubbling up again yesterday after RSL coach Jeff Cassar said he was optimistic a deal would be completed.
UPDATE, 3:45 p.m.:
RSL commentator Brian Dunseth says he was told the deal wasn’t done today — we’ll continue reporting on this throughout the day, as always. This may be a case of “done,” as in agreed, and “done,” meaning complete, being different uses of the same word. When we have further light to shed on the matter, we’ll report it.
I was told it wasn’t done an hour ago. https://t.co/cAA9OJ4wQv— Brian Dunseth (@BrianDunseth) January 19, 2017
UPDATE, 4:30 p.m.:
MLS writer Sam Stejskal is reiterating what Dunseth said above — that the deal isn’t done. He adds a bit more detail, saying he’s been told that the two sides are talking but nothing is agreed or completed.
Told that Landon Donovan to RSL is in no way done. They're talking, but nothing agreed to/completed. MLS approval potential sticking point.— Sam Stejskal (@samstejskal) January 19, 2017
We’ll continue reporting on this one — it’s likely to be a long night.