Manchester United are reported to have turned to Wolves frontman Raul Jimenez in their search for a new centre forward – and are readying an opening gambit of £50m for the Mexican.
The striker moved to Molineux on an initial loan deal from Benfica in summer 2018 and made a huge impact as Wolves secured European football on their return to the top flight; Jimenez finishing the campaign with 17 goals in 44 games.
That led to a permanent club record move estimated to be worth £32m going through over the summer, the former Atletico Madrid man signing a contract at Molineux until June 2023.
However, since then Jimenez has taken his game on to another level and has already matched his tally from last season, taking his overall total to 34 goals in 76 appearances for the old gold.
But, according to Goal, it is Jimenez’s record against sides in the top six which has particularly caught United’s attention, with the Mexican playing a part in 10 goals (scoring six times) in matches against them since joining Nuno Espirito Santo’s side.
And with United firmly looking to add more firepower to their side in 2020, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reported to have sent his leading scout to make three checks on him of late, including the recent 3-2 win over Manchester City in which Jimenez scored one and created another.
And according to the report, Solskjaer is now convinced Jimenez has what it takes to lead the line for United and the 28-year-old now tops their wanted list.
United have been linked with moves for Timo Werner of RB Leipzig and Lyon striker Moussa Dembele, but if the report is accurate, then it is Jimenez whom they want first and foremost with an opening gambit of £50million being prepped.
While Wolves are unlikely to accept such an offer, the Black Country side will be concerned that prolonged attempts from United to sign him could unsettle him, with Solskjaer admitting recently the Red Devils may have to take a patient approach with new additions this window.
“Sometimes you think one or two additions would do nicely because we are building towards something, but it depends on whether those players for us are available,” the United manager said.
Jimenez has also been touted as a potential target for Manchester City and as a long-term replacement for Sergio Aguero. However, City boss Pep Guardiola has insisted his side are not looking to sign any players in the winter window.
That of course could change should United make a move, and there will be plenty of attention on the player when United tackle Wolves at Molineux in their FA Cup third-round tie on Saturday evening.