Manchester United outcast Javier Hernandez has hinted that he could still have a future at Old Trafford.
As reported by the Daily Mail, the Mexican forward, who joined Spanish outfit Real Madrid on a season-long loan deal last summer, failed to hold down a regular starting spot at the Bernabeu, and now looks set to return to Manchester after Real failed to take up their option to secure his signature on a permanent basis.
Despite the player looking set to arrive back on English soil, it has been widely speculated that the Red Devils will look to offload him in the near future, with the same report from the Daily Mail claiming that Everton have an interest in his services.
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It appears, though, that he could yet be plying his trade for Manchester United next term, with Van Gaal's side set to return to Europe's elite competition.
Hernandez told Marca: "Last summer it was a different situation. When Van Gaal arrived, he wanted to restructure the team and reduce the number of players.
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"They weren’t playing in Europe and he preferred to focus on the Premier League. Perhaps he didn’t want many players because we wouldn’t have played, but now the situation is different.
"There will be a Champions League preliminary round to play, which means many more games and I think there might be more opportunities. I think I have more options to play at United next season."
It's far from certain, of course, as to whether the United boss will hand Hernandez a lifeline at the club, but he will seemingly be looking to add to the attacking department after Colombian forward Radamel Falcao returned to Monaco at the end of the season.
But, would handing Hernandez a chance next season prove a backwards step for Van Gaal and Co. at the Theatre of Dreams? Of course, the United faithful have a great deal of respect for what the striker has achieved at the club over the years, but it may well be time to move on.
At the end of the day, when Van Gaal arrived at the club, he decided that Hernandez wasn't good enough to lead his side's line, so would that really have changed? Hernandez scored just nine times for Real Madrid last term, so United should look elsewhere if they're serious about challenging for the Premier League title.
With Falcao gone, and Robin van Persie struggling, Manchester United are in need of a world-class striker this summer. Unfortunately for Hernandez, it probably isn't him. It's certainly going to be an interesting couple of months for all involved at Old Trafford.
Manchester United fans: Does Hernandez deserve a chance next season? Have your say in the comments section below!