The LA Galaxy no longer have a marquee-name void in their attack, and MLS is no longer chasing its white whale of a signing.
Sources have told SI.com that the Galaxy have signed Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez from Sevilla to a contract that can make him the highest-paid player in MLS. In doing so, the Galaxy are adding Mexico's all-time leading scorer (52) to fill the spot left behind by Zlatan Ibrahimovic after his two goal-filled seasons in the league.
Chicharito has long been a desired target for MLS and its clubs but was hesitant to join the league, instead wanting to remain in Europe. After leaving Chivas Guadalajara for Manchester United in 2010, he spent the last decade with the Red Devils, Real Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, West Ham and most recently Sevilla. He hasn't featured much under Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui, though, and at 31 saw the timing and opportunity to come to MLS. Something else that may have worked into the Galaxy's favor is that club general manager Dennis te Kloese had a previous connection with Chicharito from both his time as director of Mexico's national teams and their overlap at Chivas in the early 2000s.
In Los Angeles, he'll star opposite his countryman and LAFC prolific forward Carlos Vela in what has become the league's premier rivalry. Vela was asked earlier this week what he thought of Chicharito potentially joining the league–and the Galaxy, specifically–and he gave his endorsement, telling reporters: "He's a scoring machine. He's always there looking to score goals, [but] he also does a really good job defending for his team. I think it's really important if they get him, because he's a good player, and I think he can be a good signing for everybody if it happens."
Chicharito joins a growing contingent of Mexican international stars in MLS, along with his new Galaxy teammate Jonathan Dos Santos, Vela and Sporting Kansas City record signing Alan Pulido.
He'll be expected to score goals like he used to as he steps into Ibrahimovic's place atop Guillermo Barros Schelotto's formation. Ibrahimovic scored at an astounding rate, with 53 goals in 58 games between the regular season and playoffs over his two seasons in the league. Ibrahimovic also contributed 18 assists in that time. He left the Galaxy upon the expiration of his contract and signed a short-term deal with AC Milan.
Chicharito becomes the Galaxy's headlining signing of the winter after they added Emiliano Insua, Sacha Kljestan and Aleksandar Katai, and he'll link up with the likes of Cristian Pavon, Sebastian Lletget, Joe Corona and rising Mexican-American teenage talent Efrain Alvarez in leading the attack for the five-time MLS champs.