Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez has been linked with a surprise move to Stoke City this summer, meaning the Mexican could still have a future in the Premier League after all.
According to talkSPORT, the 26-year-old marksman - who is currently on loan at Real Madrid - has been identified by Potters boss Mark Hughes for a potential switch to the Britannia Stadium in the forthcoming transfer window.
Hernandez has been given no indication that he features in Louis van Gaal's first-team plans at Old Trafford moving forward and so it's unlikely the Dutch coach would stand in his way were Stoke to firm up their interest at the end of the season.
The Los Blancos loanee has suffered a severe fall from grace over the past couple of years and has managed just one La Liga start during his time in Spain, as he continues to play second fiddle to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema at the Santiago Bernabeu.
With competition for places just as tough at the Theatre of Dreams it seems that Hernandez will have to leave Manchester United permanently if he's going to secure regular competitive action, so Stoke might not be a bad place for Chicharito to try and rediscover his form.
A few years ago he was regarded as something of a 'super sub' after making a name for himself as an impact player off the bench under the former tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson.
However, his first-team role became increasingly marginalised during David Moyes's brief tenure last season, and when Van Gaal secured the temporary signature of Radamel Falcao the writing was really on the wall for Hernandez at Manchester United.
A temporary stint in La Liga with Carlo Ancelotti's side was an opportunity too good to turn down, but it was always going to be difficult for a player already low on confidence to make much of an impression given the array of attacking talent already on the books in Madrid.
The Galacticos have shown no interest in making Hernandez's short-term switch permanent, so he's set to return to Manchester United in the summer where he still has just over 12 months to run on his existing contract.
How much will Hernandez cost?
Van Gaal is understood to be open to offers of around £9 million, which will be within Stoke's modest transfer budget so a deal remains a genuine possibility.
The successful capture of Bojan from Barcelona last summer proves that the Potters are capable of luring high-profile names to the club following the appointment of Hughes, and he'll be hoping to convince Hernandez that his future will be best served in Staffordshire.
Manchester United fans: Is Javier Hernandez too good for Stoke City? Where do you think he'll end up? Share your thoughts below...
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