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Official: Rumored LAFC target Chicharito transferred to West Ham

Another big name who won’t be in black-and-gold in 2018.

Portugal v Mexico: Play-Off for Third Place - FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Javier Hernandez is returning to England, as Bayer Leverkusen announced on Thursday they are transferring the Mexican superstar to West Ham United. The reported transfer fee is £13 million.

The transfer wraps up speculation that 2018 MLS expansion team Los Angeles Football Club could swoop in for Chicharito. Despite rumors in the spring that the team was in talks with his representatives, the last report was that MLS and the team had cooled on Chicharito’s wage request. Throw in the transfer fee, which may have been higher for an MLS side as the growing league has to pay a premium to attract top talent, and financially it may have been a bridge too far.

But Chicharito was arguably the best name publicly linked to LAFC thus far ahead of the team’s inaugural season, and while it was never assured that they would actually complete a deal, he seemed to fit a profile, on and off the field, that would have suited the club.

This is also the latest player linked to LAFC to have signed elsewhere already in the summer transfer window, with Chicharito’s El Tri teammate Andres Guardado transferred to Real Betis and Keisuke Honda headed to Mexican side Pachuca. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has some speculative links to LAFC, but all signs point to him joining the LA Galaxy instead at this point. Of the big names linked to the team, only Wesley Sneijder remains the best possibility, at least publicly, at the moment.

Perhaps LAFC have some tricks up their sleeves, and surely the rumor mill will continue to churn. But with the club in a weird spot for the moment, still eight months away from their first competitive game, it is unclear when the first marquee signing will be coming. Stay tuned.

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