Mexican forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez has apparently been negotiating to play with a Los Angeles club that plans to begin playing in U.S. Major League Soccer in 2018. The change would take place when the current Leverkusen striker's contract expires with German Bundesliga team Bayer Leverkusen, various news outlets reported Thursday.
The news comes after Chicharito surpassed the 100-goal mark; he scored twice for Bayer Leverkusen this week against Roma in a Champions League game that ended in a 4-4 draw. Chicharito now has 101 career goals.
Chicharito signed on with Leverkusen this season, after the German team acquired him from Manchester United for US$14 million. They gave the Mexican striker a three-year contract worth about US$10 million.
Chicharito, who is currently 27, will turn 30 when and if he goes to the Los Angeles Football Club in 2018.
ESPN said LAFC is interested in Chicharito in part to compete with Galaxy for star power, as this Los Angeles team has recently acquired very popular Mexican player, Giovani dos Santos.
Hernandez, according to ESPN, is “one of the most accomplished Mexican soccer players in Europe, and is a massive star, eclipsing all other compatriots, even Giovani dos Santos.”
Chicharito's transfer to MLS, if true, would be in line with the league’s current trend of hiring Latinos under 30, as they are popular among the massive Hispanic soccer fans in the United States.
So, according to ESPN, it seems to be more about drawing crowds to the stadiums than actually having outstanding players, which is not to say Chicharito isn't a good footballer.
The sports news outlet said Carlos Vela – Mexico's most expensive soccer player who is currently in Spanish league's Real Sociedad – is also in negotiations with Chicago Fire.