So we’ve heard rumors connecting Mexican superstar Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez to MLS expansion team Los Angeles Football Club for months at this point, but a recent report indicates a bump in the road that may derail the pursuit altogether.
ESPNFC’s Jeff Carlisle reported on Thursday that Chicharito is looking for an annual salary “way north of” $10 million a year, which would be far and away the largest salary for an individual MLS player in league history.
Not only does an unnamed source claim the talks between the team, league and Chicharito’s representatives have gone “stone cold,” but Carlisle effectively deems the pursuit dead between the salary demands and transfer fee needed to get him away from current club Bayer Leverkusen.
What does this mean? Carlisle is a reputable reporter, so I think the text of all this is true and straightforward. There could, however, be some subtext here.
On one hand, this report could be MLS and LAFC putting pressure on Chicharito to relent on his asking price or risk having the deal go down the tubes altogether. While the player is certainly coveted and LAFC will pay above market value for him, there is a limit, and this may be their public way of saying, “If you’re interested, you’re going to have to meet us in the middle.”
This could also be helpful to Chicharito, to help him declare he’s motivated to move to another club. Bayer Leverkusen had a very disappointing season, and with the uncertainty surrounding a decent-if-often-dysfunctional club, all signs point to him leaving for somewhere this summer. Carlisle’s report linked him to French side Lyon. While I somehow doubt Lyon are going to pony up $10 million a year in salary for him, and they won’t be playing in the Champions League next year, the allure of possibly reaching that in the future may entice him to stay in Europe at a reduced rate.
So we’ll see what happens. I don’t think this report means the possibility of Chicharito coming to LAFC is dead, but it’s clear that any optimism that a deal was far along and imminent is dashed for the moment.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!