Orlando City are no strangers to star power, having signed Brazilian superstar Kaká to lead the way during their inaugural MLS season, but could another big transfer splash be on the way?
SI.com’s Grant Wahl reported on Wednesday that Mexican star Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez, who is currently on loan at Real Madrid from Manchester United, could be open to an MLS move in the near future. Hernandez’s loan at Madrid expires at the end of the 2014-15 season, and with United reportedly uninterested in including the forward in their plans for the following season, they could be looking to move him on this summer, before his contract expires in June 2016.
Orlando head coach Adrian Heath told Wahl, “I think if we could get Chicharito, our ownership would do it.”
Heath's team certainly has the need in attack – though rookie Cyle Larin has been a bright spot, the team has scored less than a goal per game to start the season and have little depth at the position, especially after an injury to Pedro Ribeiro in early April that came with a 2-3 month recovery timeline.
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The Lions' brain trust certainly seems open to the idea of having the man who's scored 39 goals in 72 appearances for El Tri on their roster.
“If good players want to come to Orlando, we will always be willing to talk to them,” Orlando City general manager Paul McDonough told MLSsoccer.com on Friday. “I think he is the type of the player that would do well for many teams in the league. For us specifically, I believe he could come in and score a lot of goals, and help with all the opportunities we create throughout the course of the game.”
Heath, also speaking to MLSsoccer.com, agreed with McDonough’s assessment: “I think that Chicharito, as he has proved at Real Madrid, would fit into our team very nicely. He is a quality player and I don’t think there is a team in the MLS that wouldn’t want him, we are included in that. We will see of it comes to fruition; I will be delighted if it does.”