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Transfer Rumors: Orlando City-Chicharito Talk Heats Up

It's been a month since we reported about rumors linking Mexican striker Javier Hernandez to Orlando City, but lately that chatter has escalated, including one report that the Lions offered a contract.

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The talk linking Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez and Orlando City is heating up since our April 6 story, although that doesn't necessarily bring the Real Madrid striker -- on loan from Manchester United -- any closer to Central Florida. The 26-year-old would like to make his loan deal permanent but that decision has yet to be made.

ESPNFC ran this story with the misleading headline "Orlando City confirm interest in signing Man United striker Chicharito." It's misleading because, despite quoting Lions Head Coach Adrian Heath and General Manager Paul McDonough, it's really just answers to reporters asking if the club would be interested in signing the Mexican international. Here's what they had to say:

"I think that Chicharito, as he has proved at Real Madrid, would fit into our team very nicely," he [Adrian Heath] told the MLS's official website.

"He is a quality player and I don't think there is a team in the MLS that wouldn't want him -- we are included in that. We will see if it comes to fruition. I will be delighted if it does."

The club's general manager Paul McDonough added: "If good players want to come to Orlando, we will always be willing to talk to them. I think he is the type of the player that would do well for many teams in the league.

"For us specifically, I believe he could come in and score a lot of goals, and help with all the opportunities we create throughout the course of the game."

Because both Heath and McDonough gave actual answers instead of just saying "duh," it became a bit bigger story than it should be. Of course the club would be interested in adding a world class striker. They'd also love to add Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and any number of star players.

However, the reality is that bringing in Chicharito would be very expensive, the club has the maximum number of designated players currently permitted under MLS rules (although Taylor Twellman says those could be changing soon), and the player is going to have no shortage of interest in Europe by clubs with deeper pockets.

That said, this story by Spanish news outlet Marca reports that Orlando City made an actual offer that Hernandez has turned down, although there is no source given for that information and no one is quoted. If City did make an offer, that would be a significant development in this ongoing story.

Hernández would prefer to stay in La Liga, go back to the Premier League or try out the Bundesliga in order to prolong his career in Europe. Obviously his dream would have been for his move to Real Madrid to be made permanent, but his slim hopes of this happening seem to have vanished on the back of the club's Champions League exit at the hands of Juventus.

This seems more like common sense than anything else, but, again, Marca doesn't quote Hernandez as saying this, nor is any other source for the information given.

We're still putting this transfer possibility at barely above zero. The player is expensive, would take a bit of maneuvering roster-wise -- and possibly an MLS rules change -- and there will be too much interest in Europe. But it would make sense for Orlando, in that Hernandez fits the club's need for a bona fide goal scorer.