Bayer Leverkusen would consider 'crazy' offers for Javier Hernandez
Bayer Leverkusen will only allow Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez a switch during the ongoing transfer period if a club were to offer "crazy money," sporting director Rudi Voller has said.
Hernandez, 28, has been linked with a move away from Leverkusen after enduring a disappointing first half of the season in which failed to score in his last 15 competitive games. The Mexico international has gone more than 100 days without scoring in any competition.
But although there has been growing speculation he could leave in the winter, Hernandez has already said he's happy at Leverkusen and wants to stay at least until the summer when he'd enter the final year of his contract.
Leverkusen also have no plans to offload the attacker, and rather hope he can help the team achieve their goals in Bundesliga, where they face an uphill task to return to Champions League, trailing fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt by eight points ahead of the restart of the German top flight later this week.
"I believe that he will play a very good Ruckrunde [second half of the German season] for us," Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller told kicker, and praised the Mexican's "extraordinary" attitude in training.
Voller said: "We need him to achieve our goals."
The Leverkusen chief added that the club are not thinking about allowing Hernandez a transfer because "it's difficult in the winter to get a reasonable replacement" and cited the Mexican's latest interviews in which he committed his future to the Bundesliga club.
However, Voller did not entirely rule out selling Hernandez and opened the door for club's willing to pay extra to sign the attacker.
"Of course, we are a club which at least has to consider crazy offers," Voller said, adding that €25 million "were special five years ago."
The Mexico international has been linked with a switch to MLS, and Hernandez has already said that he would prefer to come to Major League Soccer instead of leaving for the Chinese Super League.
Leverkusen resume their Bundesliga season with a home match against third-placed Hertha Berlin on Sunday, and they hope to get out of the starting blocks with three points. During the winter break they have been handed an injury boost with the return of several key players, especially the one of Germany winger Karim Bellarabi.
"You know when Bayern always had their biggest problems? When they missed Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery and the speed they bring to the pitch," Voller said. "For us, Bellarabi is as important as Robben or Ribery."
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.