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BAYERN MUNICH have given up in their attempt to lure Leighton Baines away from Everton.
The Bundesliga giants had tracked Baines for some time having been alerted to the left-back’s consistently impressive performances of recent weeks.
Bayern scouts had the player watched on several occasions last month and were in attendance when Baines netted in Everton’s 2-1 win at Manchester City.
Although David Moyes has been adamant he will not cash in on any of his leading players during the January transfer window, Bayern were poised to test the Everton manager’s resolve with an opening bid of £9million.
But with Baines himself having dismissed a possible move, the German side have now clearly accepted there is little chance of prising the 26-year-old away from his boyhood club.
“We cannot force him (Baines) to join us,” said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. ”He would rather live in Liverpool than Munich, and that’s that.”
Baines will be part of an Everton defence that will hope to improve on a record of just one clean sheet in 10 games when Tottenham Hotspur visit Goodison tomorrow evening.
LANDON DONOVAN is desperate to recreate his “unbelievable” Everton experience next year – but told Evertonians his body simply wouldn’t allow him to repeat last season’s loan spell this January.
Donovan reluctantly told David Moyes before Christmas that he would not be able to return on loan again this season.
But the USA international insists that doesn’t mean he has turned his back on the Blues for good.
“I don’t know what the proper analogy is, but if you went to Disneyland when you were five years old, you’re always going to want to go back,” he declared. “I don’t know in what capacity it will be, but I really, really hope that the offer still stands to go back next year and that also weighed into this decision.
“I thought to myself a lot, ‘If you say no, then what’s going to happen next year? Are they going to let you back?’ That was hard, because I don’t want to close that door, I always want the opportunity (to go back). If I don’t have the opportunity ... I mean I’m an Evertonian for life now.”
Donovan made 13 appearances at the start of last year, a spell that included victories over Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea – and David Moyes investigated the possibility of repeating the move.
But the 28-year-old admitted he turned down Everton’s approach reluctantly.
Everton are interested in a loan deal for Monaco striker Dieumerci Mbokani.
Manager David Moyes is desperate to add more firepower to his side after they missed a glut of chances against Stoke City at the weekend but is restricted by his budget.
Monaco signed Mbokani in the summer for £7m from Standard Liege but are willing to loan him out.
The 25-year-old striker has also attracted strong interest from West Ham.