Man U sign first Mexican player
MANCHESTER, England (AP):
Manchester United is set to sign its first Mexican player after agreeing to take striker Javier Hernandez from Chivas for next season.
United said Thursday that the Mexico international had passed a medical examination and would cost an undisclosed fee. The 21-year-old Hernandez will become a United player on July 1 if he gets a work permit from the British government.
Since making his Chivas debut in September 2006, Hernandez has scored 26 goals. He has four goals in four games for Mexico - two against Bolivia, and one each against North Korea and New Zealand.
"I am delighted to reach agreement with Chivas to bring such an exciting young striker, who has been in such prolific form for both his club and his country," United manager Alex Ferguson said. "He will be a great addition to our squad and we look forward to welcoming our first Mexican player in the summer."
As part of the deal, United will play a preseason friendly at Chivas' new 45,000 seat stadium in Guadalajara in July - the first time the three-time European champions will have played in Mexico. United are also finalising details of a tour of the United States in July.
Hernandez is known in Mexico by his nickname 'Chicharito,' which translates roughly as 'little sweet pea.' His father, who has the same name as his son, was known during his football career with Mexico club Tecos as 'Chicharo,' or simply "sweet pea."
Hernandez, who turns 22 on June 1, scored eight goals in the first five games this season with Chivas, a Mexico first-division record.
The Mexico striker is in the middle of a break and will join the training camp set up next week for Mexico-based players who have been selected for the World Cup.
The need for a new striking option has been highlighted by United's reliance on Wayne Rooney, who had to play against Bayern Munich on Wednesday, despite carrying an injured ankle that was hurt in the game as United was knocked out in the quarterfinals.
United won the game 3-2, but Bayern advanced on away goals after the score was locked at 4-4.