The former U.S. star told Jesus Martinez that he wants to go to Mexico, with the club president replying he’s now a Leon player

United States legend Landon Donovan has taken another step toward Liga MX, declaring in a Twitter conversation with Leon president Jesus Martinez that he wants to join his club and will see him soon.

Rumors about Donovan signing with the Guanajuato club begin flying Wednesday, with Fox Deportes first reporting his return from retirement to play with La Fiera. Leon announced Wednesday the club had signed forward Giles Barnes, a Jamaica international who is represented by the same agency as Donovan.

The 35-year-old Donovan already returned from retirement once, playing nine matches for the LA Galaxy in 2016, and hinted at doing the same in Friday night’s exchange with Martinez.

“I loved the city, it’s the best fans. Club Leon is a historic & winning team,” Donovan tweeted. “I don’t believe in walls. I want to go to Mexico, wear green & win trophies with Leon. We’ll see each other very soon!”

Martinez sent his reply: “I knew it. You always wanted (to wear) green. Welcome to ‘La Fiera!’ You’re now a Club Leon player.”

The conversation was set off by the club’s official account asking Martinez if the Donovan move had happened yet and the president saying he’d ask the player. Martinez then tweeted at the former U.S. international, “Hey Landon Donovan! Are you ready to put on your boots again?”

Pachuca defender Omar Gonzalez, Donovan’s former teammate with the Galaxy and U.S. national team, responded to Friday’s developments with a tweet of his own: “Welcome to Liga MX, Landon Donovan! I’m excited to face you in the Tuzos vs. Leon rivalry. Much success, friend, but go Tuzos! Big hug and I’ll see you soon.”

The apparent return comes as a shock, not only because Donovan has played just 455 professional minutes in the last three years but also because Donovan seemed to be enjoying life off the field. Donovan has done broadcast work with Fox Sports, is part of the Swansea City ownership group, participated in an effort to bring an MLS team to San Diego and has spoken about enjoying fatherhood.

“I can’t even chase my son around my house, so, I don’t think so,” he told Yahoo Sports of a potential comeback in March 2017. “Yeah, I’m done. I’m done. No more playing for me.”





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Jon Arnold