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Report: Javier Hernandez to Valencia

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According to Sky Sports in Italy, Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez will leave West Ham for Valencia during the January transfer window.

Sky in Italy say that Mexico’s all-time leading goal scorer has agreed personal terms with La Liga side Valencia, although there is no mention whether the move is a loan or permanent deal.

Due to Michy Batshuayi’s loan move from Chelsea being cut short, Valencia are looking for a new striker this window but other reports claimed that the Hammers do not want Hernandez to leave.

Hernandez, 30, has featured sparingly for the Hammers this season under Manuel Pellegrini (five goals in 16 games in all competitions) who has preferred Marko Arnautovic up top, while the return to fitness of Andy Carroll has increased competion for minutes for the Mexico legend.

That said, with Arnautovic linked with a move to China, letting Hernandez leave now would be strange timing.

Any move could point to West Ham bringing in significant reinforcements at striker in January, as Hernandez is one of their highest earners. They’ve been linked with an audacious move for Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson.

Chicharito signed for West Ham in the summer of 2017 and has since played for three managers at the London Stadium: Slaven Bilic, David Moyes and now Pellegrini.

His modest return of 13 goals in 49 outings in all competitions is mostly down to his appearances often coming from the bench and injuries, as Chicharito has never had a good run of games for the east London club.

A move to Valencia would make sense. They’re still one of the top clubs in La Liga and although there are 10 points off the top four this season, a top six finish is still very achievable.

Hernandez last played in La Liga for Real Madrid in 2014-15, as he scored seven goals in 23 outings while on loan from Manchester United.

Battle brewing for Batshuayi after Valencia loan ends

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Michy Batshuayi appears destined to spend his entire career being loaned out, by Chelsea, to various clubs around Europe.

[ MORE: What we learned in the Premier League, Week 22 ]

Since arriving at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2016, Batshuayi has played more than 50 largely forgettable games for his parent club, an electric 14 games for Borussia Dortmund, and an altogether disastrous 23 games for Valencia. Now, after just five months, his time in La Liga is set to end prematurely.

Valencia sporting director Mateu Alemany confirmed this week that Batshuayi’s season-long loan would be cut short on the heels of some very critical comments made by manager Marcelino. Following a recent loss to Sporting Gijon in the Copa del Rey, Marcelino held nothing back in tearing into Batshuayi — quotes from Sky Sports:

“I think we have to get in some strikers. I’ve clearly run out of patience with certain individuals.

“We could have gone in front in the first minute. It was the best opportunity I have seen us create for six months. If you can’t even get a shot in on target you are not fit to play in the Primera Liga for Valencia.”

Not exactly a ringing endorsement or a glowing recommendation for future employment. Alas, Batshuayi isn’t expected to have any trouble finding a new club as a number of sides are desperate to land the 25-year-old Belgian for the rest of the season.

[ MORE: PL Sunday preview: Litmus test time for Spurs, Man United ]

Everton would love to have him at Goodison Park, but given that they took Kurt Zouma on loan from Chelsea already this season, they would have to sign him on a permanent transfer. With that event seemingly unlikely, Thierry Henry’s Monaco is another option. Henry, who coached Batshuayi and the Belgium squad the last two years, confirmed interest while attempting to remain coy — quotes from Sky Sports:

“Michy? I know him, we rubbed shoulders with Belgium, he is a player who can be interesting. But again, nothing is done. You have to be patient. It’s important that players know the [league], though.”

Batshuayi, of course, knows the league after two seasons at Marseille prior to his move to Chelsea. Depending on which version of the player — the one with three goals in 23 appearances for Valencia, or the one with nine in 14 for Dortmund — arrives, someone is about to get a striker lacking in confidence or a star capable of singlehandedly changing the fortunes of an entire season.

Man United sleepwalk in Valencia loss

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  • Soler beats Romero for opener
  • Jones scores ghastly own goal
  • Rashford pulls one back

Manchester United wasted a chance to win its Champions League group by falling 2-1 to Valencia at the Mestalla Stadium on Wednesday.

Marcus Rashford‘s 87th minute goal was all United could muster in the loss.

Young Boys stunned Juventus in Switzerland to open the door for Jose Mourinho’s men, but a Carlos Soler low drive and a Phil Jones own goal were United’s undoing.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

Antonio Valencia was extremely fortunate not to be sent off for a horrible studs-up tackle on Toni Lato that left the defender requiring medical attention for a gash.

Valencia, the club, scored through Soler’s low drive through traffic, which beat Sergio Romero.

The Spanish side missed two chances to make it 2-0, with Michy Batshuayi mis-hitting a terrific Cristiano Piccini cross and Geoffrey Kondogbia stymied by Marouane Fellaini‘s marking.

Pogba missed a straight-forward chance to level the score when Fellaini pounded a header into his path, but the French star hit the ball wide of the gaping frame from inside the six.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Michy Batshuayi ran alongside Phil Jones, and the English defender slid to push a perfect shot… past his own goalkeeper, David De Gea.

Manchester United can’t break down Valencia

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  • United second in Group H
  • Valencia given six yellow cards
  • Two with Juventus next
  • Alexis gets start

Manchester United couldn’t find a way past Valencia in a scoreless draw at Old Trafford on Tuesday in the UEFA Champions League.

The Red Devils are three points ahead of Valencia and two behind Juventus ahead of back-to-back match-ups with old friend Cristiano Ronaldo.

United had four of the match’s five shots on target, and out-attempted Valencia 17-8.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

United were clearly the superior side over the first 45 minutes, but what good is that without danger? Aside from a pair of Romelu Lukaku hopeful crosses and two even more hopeful penalty shouts, the Red Devils couldn’t find a way through.

Goncalo Guedes had the first chance of the second half for either side, hitting a shot from the chalk of the 18 that sailed wide of the frame.

United wasted a corner kick won by Paul Pogba in the 53rd as the Old Trafford crowd implored its men to attack.

Valencia goalkeeper Neto popped a laser free kick from Pogba over the bar in the 62nd minute, and an inspired tackle from Luke Shaw nearly set Pogba up for a penalty kick on the ensuing corner kick.

Alexis Sanchez left the match with 15 minutes to play after an uninspiring return to the lineup. Anthony Martial took his place, and drew a free kick from the right edge of the 18. Marcus Rashford ripped his effort off the crossbar.

Luke Shaw sent an 88th minute corner kick toward the near post, and Romelu Lukaku headed over the goal.

[ LIVE: Champions League scores ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Valencia reaches deal to sign Guedes from PSG

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MADRID (AP) Valencia says it has reached a deal to sign Portugal winger Goncalo Guedes from Paris Saint-Germain.

[ MORE: The latest Premier League player power rankings ]

Guedes played for Valencia last season on loan from the French club.

Valencia did not give details on the transfer fee and contract length on Monday, though Spanish media said the deal was worth 40 million euros ($46.7 million).

The 21-year-old Guedes was part of Portugal’s squad at the World Cup in Russia.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports