Real Madrid are interested in young Mexican international Javier Hernandez, according to the Mirror. The 24-year-old Manchester United forward is believed to be unhappy at Old Trafford, owing to his present status as a fringe player in Sir Alex Ferguson's plans.
The Premier League leaders, who extended their points advantage over defending champions and rivals Manchester City on Saturday, have England international Wayne Rooney and ex-Arsenal striker Robin van Persie as their primary attackers. Hernandez has to fight for game time with the English duo of Ashley Young and Danny Welbeck, as well as Shinji Kagawa, Nani and Antonio Valencia.
Worse still, as far as Hernandez is concerned, Crystal Palace youngster Wilfried Zaha will join the club in the summer and reports continue to link Ferguson with a bid for Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski. This means playing time is likely to be almost impossible for the youngster and a move to the Santiago Bernabeu might be too good to turn down.
Hernandez has been in excellent form so far this season, despite limited playing time. The youngster has eight goals and two assists from six league starts (15 appearances) and 15 goals and five assists in 27 appearances this season.
Madrid, meanwhile, appear woefully short of incisive strikers and excessively reliant on ex-United ace Cristiano Ronaldo. Jose Mourinho's men just about managed to beat Deportivo La Coruna in a La Liga encounter on Saturday, with Argentine international Gonzalo Higuain scoring a late winner. Prior to that, Deportivo were clearly the better side.
In anticipation of a double header against arch-rivals Barcelona and a Champions League game against United, Mourinho fielded a largely second-string line-up for the weekend (that line-up still included the likes of Kaka, Angel di Maria and Luka Modric) but was forced to bring first team stars Ronaldo, Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil on in the second half.
The addition of Hernandez to Madrid's squad would certainly force present strikers Higuain and Karim Benzema to raise their game; neither has been particularly impressive this season.
Hernandez signed a five-year contract in October 2011 and would therefore cost a pretty penny should Madrid president Florentino Perez push for a deal. The Spaniards are long-time admirers of the forward, having registered interest after the FIFA World Cup in South Africa but with the distinct possibility the club will launch a mega-money summer bid for Tottenham winger Gareth Bale, it remains to be seen if they are serious about Hernandez as well.
Mourinho and co. will have the chance to scout Hernandez first hand next midweek, when the two clubs clash in the second leg of a Champions League knock-out tie. The first leg, at the Bernabeu, finished 1-1, with Ronaldo cancelling out Welbeck's opener.