MADRID: European champions Real Madrid confirmed the signing of Mexican international striker Javier Hernandez on a season-long loan from Manchester United on Monday.
“Real Madrid and Manchester United have reached an agreement for the loan of Javier Hernandez, who will be tied to the club for this season,” the Spanish club said in a statement.
“Real Madrid reserves the option to buy the player.”
Hernandez becomes Real’s fourth signing of the transfer window after the arrivals of World Cup stars James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos and Keylor Navas.
“I am delighted and I want to thank everyone at this great institution for the effort they showed in bringing me here,” he said as he was paraded in front of the media on Monday.
“There is not a player in the world who can say they haven’t dreamed about playing for Real Madrid.”
The 26-year-old scored 59 goals in 154 appearances for United over the past four seasons, but had fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford even before the English side reportedly sealed a sensational loan deal for Colombian hitman Radamel Falcao on Monday.
He is expected to provide cover for first-choice centre forward Karim Benzema after the departure of the Frenchman’s previous understudy Alvaro Morata to Juventus in June.
“The most important thing is the present. I am here to work, to adapt to the instructions of the coach and offer what he asks,” added Hernandez.
“All the players at the biggest club in the world are important. Those that start and those that are on the bench. We all have to do our bit to ensure this club keeps winning titles.”
However, there has been widespread discontent in the Spanish media at the lack of a replacement for midfielders Angel di Maria and Xabi Alonso, who were sold to Manchester United and Bayern Munich respectively last week.
Madrid suffered a shock 4-2 defeat on Sunday away at Real Sociedad having blown an early 2-0 lead with both coach Carlo Ancelotti and captain Iker Casillas questioning the players’ attitude.
Hernandez was a revelation in his first season in England as he scored 20 times in 45 appearances as United won the Premier League for a 19th time.
However, after a quieter second season he found starting opportunities hard to come by as United splashed out to pair Netherlands captain Robin van Persie with Wayne Rooney in attack.