Wolves are expected to announce they have completed the permanent signing of Raul Jimenez tomorrow morning.
A new club record fee believed to be £32m has been agreed with Benfica for the 27-year-old striker, who has agreed personal terms on a four-year contract that will keep him at Molineux until 2023. The club are due to announce the deal at 10am tomorrow.
Jimenez has been on a season-long loan from the Portuguese giants and the length of the deal and the age he is means Wolves should see the peak years of his career.
The announcement concludes several weeks of negotiations involving both clubs, Jimenez and his father, Wolves hierarchy and super agent Jorge Mendes, who watched last night’s 2-1 win against Manchester United.
Raul Jimenez Vega, the striker’s father, travelled to the UK and watched the 2-0 defeat at Burnley last Saturday.
He and his son met with Valdir Cardoso, Mendes’s right-hand man, on Monday, and Sky Sun, the Wolves director, was at Compton yesterday for final talks, with the fee said to be 38m euros (£32m), meeting Benfica’s buy-out clause.
Wolves have been confident for a while that they would announce the permanent signing of Jimenez before the end of the season.
Talks have been ongoing for several weeks now between both clubs and the player and agreement has been reached.
The fee for Jimenez comfortably smashes Wolves’ transfer record, which was the £18m they paid Middlesbrough for Adama Traore last August and Jonny Castro Otto from Atletico Madrid in January.
But it is seen as money well spent for the Mexico international, who is Wolves’ top scorer with 15 goals this season in all competitions, with 12 goals and seven assists in the Premier League. His partnership with Diogo Jota has been hugely successful, with the pair involved in 16 goals and 10 assists out of the 27 goals Wolves have scored in the Premier League on or since December 5, when they were first put together as a twin strikeforce.
Jota has been involved in 11 goals in his last 14 League appearances, scoring seven, with four assists, while he has had a hand in nine goals in his last seven League games at Molineux, scoring six and three assists.
The signing of Jimenez takes Wolves’ spending on transfers to around £164.8m under Fosun, which includes six new club record signings or record equalling signings – Ivan Cavaleiro (£7m), Helder Costa (£13m), Ruben Neves (£15.8m), Adama Traore (£18m), Jonny Castro Otto (£18m) and Jimenez.
Jimenez will be hoping to continue his medal-laden career by reaching the FA Cup final, with all eyes on Wolves’ semi-final against Watford at Wembley on Sunday.
Wembley was the venue he struck gold with Mexico at the Olympics in London 2012, before winning Liga MX: Clausura 2013 (Mexican top flight) with America in 2013.
After winning the Spanish Super Cup in his only season at Atletico Madrid in 2014-15, he went on to win back-to-back league titles with Benfica in 2015-16 and 2016-17, the Portuguese FA Cup in 2016-17, the Portuguese League Cup in 2015-16 and their equivalent of the Community Shield in 2016 and 2017.
Last week, Raul Jimenez Vega told Fox Sports there was rival interest in his son.
He said: “We can’t get ahead of ourselves, but yes there are offers, and it’s being analysed.
“If it’s something to benefit him and to go up, it will always be analysed.
“He is very happy in Wolverhampton; it is a lovely city and he has settled well enough, though the aspiration’s always to go above.”
But Wolves have moved quickly to seal the deal and now Jimenez will be hoping to fulfil all his ambitions at Molineux.