As the time for Javier “Chicharito” Hernández to make a major decision over his future draws near, his options, it seems, continue to increase. The Mexico striker has endured a hugely frustrating season on loan at Real Madrid, with a permanent move to the Bernabeu an unrealistic proposition after making just a single start in La Liga and none in any competition in 2015.
But, with a little over a year remaining on his contract at Manchester United, he looks unlikely to be returning to the fold at the Premier League giants. The major question centers on just where Hernández will wind up next, with Major League Soccer newcomers Orlando City now reported to have joined the chase for his signature.
According to British tabloid the Daily Mail, the Orlando club, which started play in MLS this year, made an enquiry with Manchester United last week about a potential deal for the 26-year-old. Orlando have already made a splash in MLS with the signing of former World Player of the Year Kaka, and it is thought they are keen to capitalize on the large Hispanic community in the city.
It is not the only time Hernández has been linked with a transfer to the United States. A future franchise in Los Angeles, set to begin play in 2017, has also been mooted as a future destination. Certainly it would be no surprise to see Hernández one day move to a country where he has played often with Mexico, including when scoring in Los Angeles against Ecuador late last month.
However, a report earlier this year stated that Hernández had already rejected the chance to move to MLS. And, while an undoubtedly improving league, it would be a major surprise were a player who has spent the last five years at two of the biggest clubs in the world to spend the supposed peak years of his career outside a major European league.
After just 16 league starts in his last three seasons, Hernández has stated that it will be essential when deciding upon his plan for next season that he be somewhere where he is a regular starter. But while he may not get that at either Real Madrid or Manchester United, there appear plenty of enticing options for the Guadalajara native.
If he fancies staying in the Premier League, Tottenham, Southampton, Everton, Stoke City and West Ham have all been linked. Britain’s the Daily Star has reported that Southampton could be a particularly strong option because of Manchester United’s interest in their right-back Nathaniel Clyne.
None of those clubs are likely to be able to offer Hernández a place in the Champions League for next season, however. And that could be why a transfer to Wolfsburg, another rumored suitor, will appeal. Based around an exciting core of young talent, the German club are having a fine season in the Bundesliga and currently sit second behind Bayern Munich. Lazio, another interested party who could earn a place in the Champions League next season, may also be a strong contender for his services. And the eager-eyed poacher could yet attract further attention this summer, when he is set to play for Mexico at either the Gold Cup or Copa America.