You don't want to tell me that Donovan is on Owen's level?!? We had this discussion several times and I think it's rather a misbelief of LD to think he'd get playing time in a top league before becoming 20. Of course LD developed best when returning to MLS, no doubt about that and it's also being now when he for the first time has a real chance to see playing time in Bundesliga. What is unsupported speculation in my assumption? As ex-lawyer you'll know that a contract needs offer and acceptance (though different in common law) and in most cases this is only working with transfer fees. Might be that last time Bayer let him go for free, but now they'd like to have him back and you can't expect a free loan anymore - or in other terms: MLS might make the offer to loan him for free, but I don't see Bayer's acceptance. There are many ways to keep a player quiet. I don't see why you would want to give all power to the player. That's very uncommon business in Germany. Soccer players often got a doubtful reputation in the public, especially if they aren't loyal to their employers. I am arguing that (1) LD has signed a contract and according to today's situation he's employer of Bayer Leverkusen from November 1st on. I also say that LD was expecting too much back then. Today he'd get the chance to play in the first team. (2) I argue that he isn't speaking the truth - at least LD's truth looked different in Rostock and suddenly changed before and extremely after the WC. For me it's obvious that he doesn't want to lose his current status in the US and by all means tries to stay - including talking negative about BL though he knows that he's telling wrong or at least exaggerated statements. And after all he's employee of Bayer Leverkusen. Who of you is allowed to talk negative about his employee in the public? German soccer clubs generally handle it that any player can come and complain at the GM or the coach - but if he's using the media, then he'll get a fine. Ask Pablo Thiam of Bayern Munich, ask Fredi Bobic of Borussia Dortmund - both were fined 10K these days for criticizing coach/officials of the club. Btw, this exactly was topic in today's kicker edition; interview with Bayern coach Otmar Hitzfeld: Q: The fines were raised as the case Pablo Thiam proves. He had to pay 10K for a critical interview in which he complained about you. H: That's true. Q: Is it right that players from now on have to get a permission before an interview gets printed? H: It is better to control if players are giving interviews to papers who want to make big headlines. Otherwise it only causes trouble in the club. Q: What does it mean precisely? H: Interviews have to be brought to our media boss Markus Hörwick before printing. Q: Sounds like censorship. H: That's no censorship. We just want to protect our players and keep damage away from our club.