Mexico’s Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez is closing in on a return to the Premier League.
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Multiple outlets say West Ham are “confident” of signing Mexico’s all-time leading goalscorer who reportedly has a $18 million release clause in his Bayer Leverkusen contract.
Hernandez, 29, played for Manchester United for five years and won the Premier League title twice during his time at Old Trafford, scoring 59 goals in 157 appearances in all competitions as he earned a reputation as a super sub.
The El Tri star has scored 28 goals in 54 Bundesliga games for Leverkusen since arriving from Manchester United in the summer of 2015 and although the German side made the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 last season, their league form tailed off and a new manager, Heiko Herrlich, has arrived at the BayArena.
Hernandez is said to be keen on a move to West Ham and his arrival would be the latest big move for the Hammers who have signed free agent Pablo Zabaleta, Joe Hart on loan from Manchester City and a $31.2 million deal for Stoke City’s Marko Arnautovic is said to be close to completion.
Last season was a tough one for Bilic and his team as they relocated to the London Stadium and eventually finished in 11th place in the PL table, and the Hammers are certainly trying to add experience and quality in the summer transfer window.
Zabaleta will add experience at right back but isn’t a game-changer, while Hart has plenty of work to do to regain his best form and Arnautovic’s lacks consistency.
Hernandez should score goals wherever he goes with his innate ability to find pockets of space in the box invaluable. With deliveries from Robert Snodgrass, Michail Antonio, Manuel Lanzini and West Ham’s attack-minded full backs, Hernandez shouldn’t be short for chances as the Hammers often spurned glorious opportunities in front of goal last season.