Javier Hernandez is looking for a club that will give him more playing time, and that does not seem to be with Manchester United.
The forward had a hard time getting onto the pitch last season under David Moyes, starting just six matches in the English Premier League while playing another 18 as a substitute. He totaled just four goals and three assists in that time.
While the club has a new manager this season in Louis van Gaal, it will be just as difficult to get into the starting XI with Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney blocking the path, not to mention young players like Danny Welbeck, Wilfried Zaha and others.
As a result, it would not be surprising to see the Mexican star finally make a move to another club before the end of the transfer season. While he could not explicitly discuss a transfer, he did hint that he would be open to a move in an interview with La Corriere dello Sport, via the London Evening Standard:
I know there is much interest in me from the Italian club and I thank them for this. There are also other teams and everything obviously is pleasing, but right now I belong to Manchester United. [...]
[Inter] are a great club, but if I were to transfer, I would not say no to any club. Italian football, however, is amongst the best in the world, I have followed it since I was little and it would be a very important showcase at a personal level.
The fact that he would "not say no to any club" is a good sign that he is ready to leave. Tom Marshall of ESPN FC also provided more information to suggest a move is coming:
Neither Chicharito nor Van Gaal able to say the player is staying at Manchester United. Expecting Hernandez to leave this transfer window.— Tom Marshall (@mexicoworldcup) July 31, 2014
Chicharito has also been linked for a move within the EPL to Southampton, according to Amy Lewis of Sky Sports:
Sources: Southampton are interested in signing Javier Hernandez from Manchester United— Amy Lewis (@SkySportsAmy) July 31, 2014
If he did not have enough choices already, Hernandez has received interest from the reigning La Liga champions. Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone recently explained that the Mexican star is someone who can help his club, via Ben Burrows of Mirror:
He's a vertical player, he's great in one-on-one situations and he's someone who could be useful to any team. We are speaking to the sporting directors about the type of player we want and then it's up to them to bring the player in.
With Javier Hernandez and lots of other great players, anything is possible. We can't close any door until the transfer window shuts.
Atletico Madrid are hoping to replace the departed Diego Costa at the top of the attack, a spot where Hernandez has a chance to excel.
Where will Javier Hernandez play this season?
One thing that is unmistakable is the fact that Chicharito has plenty of talent. Despite coming off a down year, he has consistently shown he can be a game-changer with his scoring ability. He reached double-digit goals in the Premier League three seasons in a row and has always been a threat for the Mexican national team.
Unfortunately, coming in for short bursts off the bench has limited his development as a complete player. If he remains in this role for too much longer, it will severely stunt his defense and passing ability, reducing his overall value.
The good news is he is still just 26 years old with a chance to get better. With steady playing time, Hernandez can still become one of the top scorers in the world. This makes leaving United the obvious choice for the player.
At this point, the question is which club represents the best destination. Atletico Madrid are probably the most talented of the bunch, but it will once again be difficult to find playing time. He would easily be a first-team member for Southampton, although he will not get much support from teammates after many top players left the club this summer.
This leaves Inter Milan as the best option. The Italian club saw him firsthand in a recent friendly and know that his quickness up front can make a big difference as they try to climb the Serie A table. If he has a successful season, he can then move back into the EPL on a bigger deal.
The only ones that would prevent such a deal from going through are Manchester United. Even though Hernandez does not start, they do not want to lose a valuable bench player who can make a difference in big matches.
On the other hand, Paul Clennam of Goal.com reports United are asking for around £15 million in a transfer. This would be something the club would not be able to turn down as they look to improve in other areas.
With about a month remaining before the transfer window closes, it seems incredibly likely Chicharito will find a new home.
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