West Ham, Leverkusen Agree on Transfer for Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez
Mexico striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez will leave Bayer Leverkusen to join English side West Ham, the player told ESPN Mexico's Sergio Dipp. No transfer fee has been announced, but ESPN reported that Hernandez's $16.9 million release fee would be triggered should the move be finalized. West Ham later confirmed that the two clubs have agreed on a fee and that Chicharito's move is subject to personal terms being agreed upon and his passing a medical.
The move will mark a return to the Premier League for the 29-year-old Hernandez, who scored 37 goals in 103 appearances in the Premier League for Manchester United from 2010-2015. He was loaned to Real Madrid during the 2014-15 season before joining Leverkusen. After a stellar 2015-16 season in which Hernandez scored 17 times in the Bundesliga and another 5 in the Champions League, Hernandez slowed down a bit last season, netting 11 times in the Bundesliga season and just once in Champions League play.
Hernandez is Mexico's all-time leading scorer with 48 goals for El Tri.
The move comes just days after Manchester City keeper Joe Hart joined West Ham on a season-long loan.
The Hammers finished 11th in the Premier League in 2016-17 and have been aggressive in the summer transfer window, particularly looking to make a splash by signing a big-name attacker. While Chicharito certainly fits the bill of a big name, his best years may be behind him. The move affords the Mexican an opportunity to show that he can still be a productive Premier League striker. He'll likely play alongside Ghana international Andre Ayew on West Ham's front line, and his arrival will likely keep Andy Carroll out of the starting XI.
Ironically, Hernandez could make his Premier League return at his old stomping grounds—West Ham open the season at Manchester United on Aug. 13.