Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez could join La Liga champions Atletico Madrid this summer, despite linking up with his teammates on the Red Devils' pre-season tour of America. It has emerged that the Mexico international, who arrived at Old Trafford in 2010, is not in Louis van Gaal's plans.
This is according to ESPN reporter Jorge Ramos - and brought to our attention by Spanish daily Marca - who claims that Atletico sporting director José Luis Pérez Caminero has asked head coach Diego Simeone whether he would be keen to sign Hernandez from the Red Devils.
Atletico rebuilding after losing key players
Simeone is currently in the process of rebuilding his depleted squad following last season's heroics. Diego Costa and Filipe Luis have joined Chelsea - goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has also returned to Stamford Bridge - while back-up forward Adrian has moved to Porto.
The Atletico boss has, however, bolstered his squad for the additions of keeper Miguel Ángel Moyà, left-back Guilherme Siqueira and revered striker Mario Mandzukic, who will be Costa's direct replacement.
But Simeone still requires a replacement for Hernandez, who would be offered more game time at the Vicente Calderon following a frustrating four-year spell at Old Trafford.
Van Gaal willing to give Hernandez a chance?
At his second press conference on Tuesday, Van Gaal was asked directly whether Hernandez has a future with Manchester United. The veteran Dutch coach's response, however, was less than convincing.
"I will have to see how he plays," he told reporters. "I have only seen him under another coach so far. He has arrived today and now I can see him play in a game. Then I can talk about him."
Back in February, Mexico boss Miguel Herrera revealed that Hernandez was frustrated with his lack of playing time under David Moyes. The live-wire striker had also indicated that he was unhappy with his situation at Old Trafford by posting a series of cryptic social media messages.
Watch: Hernandez in action for United
Hernandez expected to play against AS Roma
Hernandez did not feature in Wednesday night's emphatic 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy, after joining up with the squad later than his teammates, but is expected to play some minutes in Saturday's International Challenge Cup match against AS Roma.
Van Gaal could not have wished for a better start to his Manchester United tenure - Wayne Rooney, Reece James, Ashley Young all netted braces, while Danny Welbeck scored the other - and will be hoping to see a similarly effect performance from Hernandez this weekend.
The Mexican, who has also been linked with a move to Arsenal or Tottenham in recent weeks, has scored 59 goals in 152 appearances for the Red Devils - but it seems he could start the 2014/15 campaign in Madrid.