Van Gaal tells Hernandez he can leave as Man United set sights on £20million Sadio Mane
Louis Van Gaal has informed Javier Hernandez that he can leave Manchester United before the transfer window closes on Tuesday evening with Bayer Leverkusen emerging as favourites to sign the 27-year-old.
The impending departure of Hernandez will leave United with just Wayne Rooney as a recognised striker for this season – unless Van Gaal makes an unexpected late signing which the club do not now expect.
Van Gaal may make a fresh move for Southampton’s Saido Mane, with United having indicated they are willing to pay more than £20million despite being told he is not for sale, but the 23-year-old Senegal international is not an out-and-out striker.
Instead Van Gaal will rely on Marouane Fellaini, Adnan Januzaj and Memphis Depay along with James Wilson as his options as alternatives to Rooney.
United have already sold Robin Van Persie and did not take up the option to sign Radamel Falcao on a permanent basis, with the Colombian then joining Chelsea, and although they have held talks to sign Alexandre Pato from Corinthians they are unsure about signing the Brazilian striker.
The final straw for Hernandez, who spent last season on loan at Real Madrid, was his performance in the Champions League play-off second leg away to Brugge when the Mexican international missed a penalty.
Hernandez has one year left on his contract at United and it is unclear what scale of fee the club will demand for the striker who joined them in 2010 and has scored 37 goals in 103 appearances earning a super-sub status under Sir Alex Ferguson.
It is understood that Hernandez prefers a move to Bayer Leverkusen because the German club are in the Champions League. He is wanted by West Ham United, who have hoped to conclude a deal all summer, but is set to disappoint the Premier League club.
Leverkusen are in the market for another forward having sold Son Heung-min to Tottenham Hotspur for £22million.
West Ham are also desperate to add to their attacking options with the club considering a late move for Nikica Jelavic who has been told he can leave Hull City. The 29-year-old is well-known to West Ham manager Slaven Bilic having played under him for Croatia.
West Ham, with strikers out injured, are also hoping that Emmanuel Adebayor will finally undergo a medical on Sunday ahead of his proposed move from Tottenham Hotspur. The deal has collapsed twice in the past, however.