Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has indicated the club could yet sign Manchester United's Javier Hernández on a permanent deal after the Mexico international scored on just his second La Liga start for the Bernabéu club.
Hernández has been a peripheral figure during his season-long spell in the Spanish capital, netting just four league goals in two starts for title chasing Real, leading to reports the club were planning for next season without the 26-year-old.
But after marking a rare start in the Real attack in the 3-0 win over Eibar, Ancelotti says he could yet sign the United striker come the summer transfer window, despite his limited impact in Spanish football.
"[Chicharito] did very well and worked hard," he said. "He scored a goal and could have had another. And as for the future, he is owned by Manchester United. We will see at the end of the season."
The deadline day signing of Radamel Falcao on loan from Monaco saw Hernández cast loaned out Real from United, but he has been unable to stake a claim for a permanent deal due to Karim Benzema's continual role at the heart of the attack.
Speaking after the game, Hernández said: "I can't talk about negative things when I've just played 90 minutes. The team won and we're still in the fight for the title.
"I've talked about it before and it's frustrating when you don't get opportunities. Any player who doesn't play is unhappy. But I want to be professional and I appreciate everyone who has supported me."
Before the turn of the year, Hernández's representative admitted the player would not remain on loan from United for the entire season if Real did not intend to keep the player beyond the summer.
"If Madrid do not exercise the option to buy it will not be until the end of the season," agent Eduardo Hernandez said. "In any case, we have to consult with the board of Manchester United to know what the future holds for Chicharito."