It looks like Javier “Chicharito” Hernández might have worn out his welcome in Germany. Sport Bild is reporting that the Mexican striker’s club, Bayer Leverkusen, is willing to let him go now or in the summer should another team be willing to fork over about $26 million dollars.
The report basically claims that people inside the club don’t believe Chicharito is much of a team player, on or off the field. There are some rumored petty grievances, like how he ditched the club Christmas party, but these would likely not be an issue if the striker’s performance hadn’t hit a slump this second season, with only seven goals so far compared to last season’s 26 goals in all competitions. While there’s still time for him to turn it around, for now it seems likely that Leverkusen will sell him rather than offer a contract renewal.
As for Chicharito’s possible next step, it depends on what kind of role he’s is seeking. If he wants to continue to be a starter on a good – but not necessarily title-contending – European big league team, he’d certainly find suitors in England and Spain. Clubs like Everton or Villarreal, however, would be unlikely to pay the fee.
And while it may seem like a backward step now that Chicharito has become a regular starter, he also has the option of joining one of Europe’s leading teams and taking on a super sub role like he did for Manchester United and Real Madrid. Paris Saint-Germain, for example, can afford just about any player in the world and does not have a true backup for Uruguayan Edinson Cavani, although reports are that the Parisians have already turned Chicharito down. Rather than using a true striker, current Premier League leaders Chelsea have recently opted to play Eden Hazard when Diego Costa isn’t available – Chicharito’s familiarity with the league could makes him a nice option there.
If transfer fees weren’t an issue, Chicharito could always return home to play for Guadalajara, the club where he got his start and where his grandfather played. Of course, the asking price is prohibitive and makes it unlikely that he can return to Mexico unless he decides to see out his contract, which runs until 2018.
And then there’s the straight cash option: China. The Chinese Super League has once again made waves this transfer window by making big money moves for Oscar, John Obi Mikel, and Carlos Tevez. Considering his relative youth and history with two of the biggest clubs in the world, Chicharito seems like a great option for a Chinese team looking to spend big. Obviously, he’d have to accept playing in a less competitive league, but the financial aspect is worth considering. Shanghai Shenhua recently made Tevez the world’s best paid footballer, and according to Total Sportek, six of the 20 highest paid soccer players are employed in China. Think about it, is all we’re saying.