Former boss admits he nearly landed proven Premier League hitman during Tottenham spell

Andre Villas-Boas has admitted that he was ‘close’ to signing Javier Hernandez for Tottenham Hotspur during the striker’s time at Manchester United.

The Portuguese was Spurs manager for nearly 18 months, between July 2012 and December 2013.

Landing the Mexican forward at that stage would have been something of a coup for the Lilywhites; Hernandez was hot property and had proven himself as a reliable Premier League goalscorer without being a regular starter at Old Trafford.

However, the former Chivas hitman wanted to stay and fight for his place with the Red Devils under the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson.

“I was close to signing Chicharito [Hernandez], I still have a very good relationship with him,” Villas-Boas told ESPN in a recent interview.

“He always said: ‘Coach, I’m going to fight for my position [at United] and I’ll fight until the end.’

“I told him that he should give me an opportunity that he should come, but no.

“He believed in himself a lot and that also excited me.

“In the end we weren’t able to come to an agreement.”

Villas-Boas was no longer in charge at Tottenham by the time Hernandez eventually left United, initially on loan to Real Madrid in 2014 and then permanently to Bayer Leverkusen the following summer.

The 29-year-old currently plies his trade at London rivals West Ham United, where he has seven goals in 15 Premier League starts this season for the Irons.

Leading his country’s all-time goalscoring charts with 49 in 99 appearances, Hernandez has found the net regularly throughout his career but there remain questions over whether he offers enough to the team as a whole in the modern game.

Whilst a natural predator in the penalty box, strikers are now expected to be more involved in terms of building the play and it is perhaps that which has restricted his game time with the Hammers this term.

There is little doubt that Hernandez would have scored goals for Spurs and he could have been an interesting option alongside the likes of Gareth Bale and Jermain Defoe in attack.