Report: Tottenham line up new No10 in January, Pochettino eyes ace with £33.5m release clause
By Matt Farr
Liverpool and Tottenham are set to go head-to-head in January for former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez, according to a report.
The Bayer Leverkusen goalscorer has netted seven times in all competitions already this season, and could be set to test his mettle in the Premier League again. He scored over 50 goals for United during his time at Old Trafford.
According to the Mirror, both Liverpool and Tottenham are seeking attacking reinforcements, with the latter hoping to ease the goalscoring burden on current talisman Harry Kane.
It is said that Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino is seeking a new No10 and has turned his attention next month to Hernandez.
England international Kane has been in superb form since returning from injury, scoring nine goals from just 12 games; but current backup Vincent Janssen is still finding his feet in England’s top-flight following his £17 million summer move.
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Liverpool, meanwhile, are without the injured Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings, leaving youngster Divock Origi as Jurgen Klopp’s sole outright striker option. Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have both played in a central role this season, and to good effect, but Klopp is looking for even more variety.
Sturridge could even leave the club in January after becoming disgruntled at slipping down the Anfield pecking-order.
The Mirror claim that Hernandez has a release clause in his contract worth £33.5 million, which is what it would take for any club to prize the Mexico star away from Leverkusen.
Spanish side Valencia are also interested in Hernandez, who they want to lift them out of their current slump. They are fourth from bottom in La Liga with only three wins from 14 games.
However, Valencia’s interest in the former Manchester United striker could force both Tottenham and Liverpool to act quickly when the transfer window re-opens next month.
Leverkusen, meanwhile, will hope that they can keep hold of Hernandez until at least the end of the season, having qualified for the knockout-stages of the Champions League.
Football Insider verdict:
Liverpool and Tottenham are targeting Hernandez for good reason – he has plenty of Premier League experience, as well as European pedigree – so he is already a proven goalscorer in the top-flight. He scored regularly for Manchester United, and has continued to score regularly for Bayer Leverkusen, and would be a fantastic asset to both clubs. Tottenham would be a better fit for Hernandez given their lack of striker options, while Liverpool may not be as keen to spend as much as £33.5 million on a new striker than Spurs. There are other issues of concern for Jurgen Klopp that may take priority, particularly in the defence. The overlying issue with moving for Hernandez in January though, is Europe. Leverkusen are still in the Champions League, and while they will likely come across a strong side in the knockout stages, you can’t assume that they will not make it any further in the competition. Hernandez may want to stay and help the German side make further progress in the competition.
In other Liverpool news, Michael Owen has made this prediction for Liverpool’s clash with West Ham on Sunday.