As long as there aren’t any last-minute hurdles, it appears Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez will soon be coming to Los Angeles.
The Mexican national team star is reportedly close to signing with the LA Galaxy, according to reports from the LA Times and from ESPN Mexico. A deal had not been signed as of Tuesday evening but it is “likely,” a source told the LA Times. ESPN Mexico reports the contract is expected to be finalized Wednesday.
The all-time leading goal-scorer for the Mexican national team, Chicharito will fill a void left by the departure of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who not only led the Galaxy in scoring but was a major draw for fans. A report from Spanish newspaper Marca put the transfer fee being negotiated for Chicharito at around $10 million.
Chicharito has been a target of MLS clubs for years, with rumors of a stateside move ramping up since he has fallen out of favor at Sevilla. Chicharito, for his part, has expressed interest repeatedly over the years in playing in the United States. While Chicharito does not have the larger-than-life personality of Zlatan, his fluency in both Spanish and English and the popularity of El Tri in Southern California makes him an obvious fit with the LA Galaxy.
The move would see Chicharito join his Mexican teammate Jonathan dos Santos at the Galaxy while becoming an instant rival of Carlos Vela, who plays for Los Angeles FC. Vela, last year’s MLS MVP and Golden Boot winner, told reporters earlier this week that he had spoken to Chicharito about a move to MLS but could not say more than that.
Chicharito has 52 goals in 109 appearances for the Mexican national team making him El Tri’s all-time leading goal-scorer.
His club career has included stops at Manchester United, Real Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen and West Ham United before joining Sevilla in September. But his latest stint in Spain hasn’t gone well for the goal-poacher and he has started just four La Liga matches for Sevilla since joining on a three-year $9.7 million deal.