Juan Mata has urged Manchester United to retain Javier Hernandez amid speculation that the striker will depart the club this summer.
Hernandez spent last season on loan at Real Madrid but struggled to make much of an impact, partly due to his lack of game time at the Bernabeu where he started just 11 matches.
The Mexico international will report for pre-season training but may not remain until the season starts. The 27-year-old has a year remaining on his contract and with Louis van Gaal struggling to see a place for him in his squad, United seem likely to cash in rather than letting him leave for free in 12 months.
However, Mata is keen for the player sometimes known as 'Chicharito' or 'Little Pea' to remain with the club.
“Chicharito still belongs to Manchester United and selfishly I'd like him to be with us,” Mata told reporters in Mexico.
“He has scored goals in every team he has played in and is a very smart striker."
Mata continued: “Chicharito is a great friend. When I arrived to Manchester he behaved great with me. He is a great person and a great professional. I've been lucky enough to share a dressing room with Chicharito, whom I admire.”
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