Javier Hernandez has emerged as a transfer target for rival Premier League outfit Southampton.
According to The Daily Mail, the Saints are admirers of the Manchester United striker yet face considerable obstacles to any potential deal by way of sustained interest from Serie A outfit Inter Milan and indeed the player's own desire to play in Europe.
It has been an extremely busy and testing summer period to date at St Mary's, with the departure of popular manager Mauricio Pochettino to Tottenham swiftly followed by a player exodus that has seen Luke Shaw, Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Calum Chambers all move on to greener pastures.
Such a heavy loss of talent has left many Southampton fans fearing an uncertain future under the guidance of new manager Ronald Koeman and chairman Ralph Krueger, particularly with rumours continuing to persist over the respective futures of Morgan Schneiderlin and Jay Rodriguez.
While that particular pair appear destined to stay on the South Coast for now - much to Schneiderlin's obvious dismay and displeasure - the under-pressure Southampton hierarchy will be fully aware that they must continue to add to their squad if they are to continue or match the huge strides made under Pochettino during the 2013/14 Premier League campaign.
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If they could somehow convince Hernandez to join, then the Mexican international's arrival would surely go some way to appeasing worried supporters who are evidently worried that Southampton are set to regress next season.
While the 26-year-old has traditionally struggled to secure a starting berth in the face of rather stiff competition at Old Trafford over recent seasons, he remains a competent striker who should thrive in new surroundings under slightly less pressure.
Koeman has already sought to bolster his strikeforce in recent weeks, of course, with Graziano Pelle arriving from Eredivisie club Feyenoord earlier this month.
However, with record-signing Dani Osvaldo unlikely to remain at the club for much longer following a less than impressive first season in English football and fan favourite Lambert now with Liverpool, it stands to reason that the Dutchman should be looking for more attacking recruits.
Competition from the continent
While it remains to be seen if Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal would be content to allow £15 million-rated Hernandez to join another Premier League club, Southampton should at least be sufficiently encouraged by recent quotes attributed to Atletico Madrid club president Enrique Cerezo which seemed to comprehensively rubbish reports that the La Liga champions were eager to move for his services.
However, Inter - who are looking to make a serious impact in this summer's transfer market as they bid to return to the thick of the Serie A title race - do look to pose a serious threat that could scupper any chance of the Saints getting their man.
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