Javier Hernandez is unsure whether he will remain at Manchester United next year, but Atletico Madrid are willing to offer the Mexican an escape route from Old Trafford should he decide to leave.
Hernandez flew out to the United States to join the club’s pre-season tour, but he has so far only made two brief substitute appearances.
Even though new manager Louis van Gaal likes to play with two strikers, Hernandez still faces stiff competition from Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Wilfried Zaha for a first-team place.
In a rushed interview following United’s penalty shoot-out win over Inter Milan on Tuesday night, Hernandez was asked if he saw his future at Old Trafford.
“The future, only God knows,” he said.
When pressed on his limited match time under Van Gaal, the striker responded: “There is competition here and I will continue to work hard as I always do.”
Hernandez was an instant hit at United following his surprise move from home-town club Guadalajara in 2011.
But the signing of Van Persie and the emergence of Welbeck has caused the Mexican to start just 15 Premier League games in the last two seasons.
Van Gaal was asked after the friendly win in Washington whether he would consider selling Hernandez.
He replied: “That I cannot answer because he is a player of Manchester United at this moment.”
There are plenty of interested parties, chief among them Atletico.
The Spanish champions have already brought in forwards Mario Mandzukic and Antoine Griezmann this summer to compensate for the departures of Diego Costa, David Villa and Adrian Lopez, but Diego Simeone revealed he is still looking for an extra striker.
The Atletico coach thinks Hernandez would be an asset.
“He’s a vertical player, he’s great in one-on-one situations and he’s someone who could be useful to any team,” the Atletico coach said.
Inter are also reported to be interested in Hernandez’s signature.
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