Express & Star

Raul Jimenez committed to Wolves regardless of Champions League

Star striker Raul Jimenez has outlined his commitment to Wolves and stated that Champions League qualification is not essential for him to stay at Molineux.

Last updated

The 28-year-old Mexican wowed supporters with 22 goals in 44 games across all competitions before football was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Real Madrid, according to reports in Spain, have identified him as a summer target, but Jimenez – answering questions from fans on a Facebook live stream – said: "I have a contract with Wolves until 2023.

"I don’t need to qualify for the Champions League to know I want to stay here.

"We have done great things as a team: we have qualified for the Europa League and now we are within reach of qualification for the Champions League.

"Playing the Champions League is of course an additional motivation to do your best and want to accomplish great things.

"My motivation is my family. It’s great to be always with them. Now with the baby on the way, I cannot be happier! This is also motivating me to continue giving my best.”

Wolves are currently sixth in the Premier League table but football is off until at least April 30, and there is now reportedly a growing notion in the top flight to abandon the season on moral grounds.

Television companies, meanwhile, are said to be discussing showing all Saturday 3pm fixtures as part of an emergency coronavirus plan, if games have to be played behind-closed-doors.

It is unclear when Wolves will return to action.

The squad are each currently following individual training programmes from home, and Jimenez – who also insisted he wants to remain in football once his playing career is over – said: "I miss playing, training and being with the fans.

"I want to return, but health comes first. I am taking advantage of staying at home to stay fit.

"Luckily I have a garden, so I can do a bit of running. I also follow the work plans that the technical staff sends us – speed exercise, stretching – to be able to return to normal training as soon as possible.

"We still do not know when it will be. But when we’re finally out, we must all be able to compete.”