West Ham United ultimately might prove to be a mere pit stop in Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez’s soccer career.
The Premier League club is willing to sell the Mexican striker for the right price during the January transfer window, Sky Sports and ESPN’s Peter O’Rourke reported Thursday, citing sources. The rumor emerges just five-plus months after Hernandez joined West Ham from German club Bayer Leverkusen in a Â£16 million ($21.6 million) transfer, and he might be on the move again ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Hernandez has scored just four goals in 21 games in all competitions for West Ham this season and is currently enduring a miserable run of nine games without scoring. He has struggled with form and fitness for months, and sources told O’Rourke that Hernandez doesn’t fit into West Ham’s playing style under David Moyes, who replaced Slaven Bilic as manager in early November.
Moyes now intends to reconfigure his attack around other players and offload Hernandez, who earns around Â£130,000-a-week ($9.1 million per year) and is West Ham’s highest-paid player.
Hernandez now is linked with potential moves to Mexican club C.D. Guadalajara (“Chivas”) and Los Angeles F.C., although sources close to the Major League Soccer expansion franchise told ESPN the club is happy with its current options in attack and unlikely to pursue the 29-year-old.
If West Ham can’t find a buying club willing to pay a suitable price for Hernandez and offer him a salary he’d accept, he faces the prospect of rotting on the bench in the coming months. That amounts to a nightmare scenario for Hernandez, who is expected to lead Mexico’s attack next summer at the World Cup, and his national team’s legions of fans.