Mexico striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez says he would turn down a $10 million deal to move to MLS if he could make half as much playing in Spain.
As he prepares for the World Cup, the 30-year-old’s club future is in doubt after he only started 16 Premier League games at West Ham last season, with a further 12 appearances off the bench. Sources told ESPN FC in April that West Ham would be open to offers for Hernandez, who scored eight goals last season despite his limited opportunities.
Hernandez has long been linked to a move back to North America, either to an MLS club or to Liga MX side Chivas, but in an interview with ESPN’s David Faitelson last month he made it clear he would prefer to stay in Europe.
In a series of rapid-fire questions, Hernandez was asked, “$10 million playing in MLS or $5 million playing on a mid-table team in Spain?” — and he responded “$5 million in Spain.”
Hernandez, who moved to Europe with Manchester United in 2010, has played only one year in Spain — the 2014-15 season with Real Madrid while on loan. He then spent two seasons with Bayer Leverkusen in Germany before returning to the Premier League last season.
And despite a long-term fondness for Chivas, Hernandez said he would rather “return to Manchester United” than his boyhood club.
Asked if he would stay in Europe “as far as it takes you,” he agreed: “Yes, literally like that, as far as I can go.”
“You said it well, as far as it takes me,” Hernandez said. “And it doesn’t mean I’m carrying burdens or something bad. Let’s say, and I’ll say it, that’s it.”
Hernandez also said that if he had to leave Europe in the near future that he would play in Mexico rather than MLS — but that doesn’t mean it would be the final move of his career.
“I’ll tell you this, when I return, when I’m able to return to [North America]… it’ll be Mexico, obviously,” he said. “But wherever it is, that doesn’t mean that’s the end of it, OK? For me, the end is when I retire, be it in China, Dubai, Qatar, MLS, the Spanish league, Dutch, French.”
Hernandez also spoke about his distaste in general for the current state of the transfer system, saying teams who hold out for higher fees can keep players from reaching their full potential.
“The problem now is with transfers. They don’t want to sell,” he said. “If you listen now, clubs are vying for [Monterrey’s] Rodolfo Pizarro for $15 million to $20 million, but no team is going to pay that. Those teams are keeping Rodolfo Pizarro from succeeding when they can open a door for him.”
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