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Raul re-iterates desire to stay at Wolves amid Real Madrid ‘interest’

Raul Jimenez has re-iterated his desire to stay at Wolves – whether they qualify for the Champions League or not.

Wolves are currently sixth in the Premier League, five points off the top four with nine games to go of the season with all football on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The shutdown will go on until April 30 at the earliest, with reports now suggesting clubs are in favour of the season being completed in June and July behind closed doors, with matches live on TV.

Jimenez has been a sensation at Wolves, scoring 22 goals in 44 games in all competitions this season.

The Mexico international has recently been linked with a move to Real Madrid in the Spanish media.

Jimenez has previously played in Spain for Atletico Madrid, in season 2014-15, but says he has no desire to return to the capital with Real.

Answering questions from fans via a live streaming for Bridgestone Tyres recently, the 28-year old said: “I have a contract with Wolves until 2023 and 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 a 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.”

Jimenez added: “It motivates me to give even more joy to our fans. When they sing my name during matches or even during training, I want to repay them by scoring more goals or making more assists.”

Like most people, Jimenez is having to work from home at the moment, with the players keeping fit with their personal training schedules.

The striker admits he is missing the inter-action of others but accepts the current lockdown must continue if the pandemic is to be beaten.

“I miss playing, training and being with the fans. I want to return [to playing], but health comes first,” he added.

“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, etc. 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.”

Jimenez is happily settled in Wolverhampton with partner Daniela Basso expecting their first child, a son, in July.

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

Looking ahead, Jimenez wants to remain in the game once his playing career has finished, possibly in coaching. But he wants to carry on playing as long as he can.

“In 10 years, I will be 39. I don’t know… I guess I’ll be retired. I hope my career as a footballer will be as long as possible,” he said.

“I have been lucky to have only very few injuries in my career, so I hope I can continue playing for many more years.

“I want to continue working in football, though, perhaps as a coach, or – why not – on TV. But definitely working in football.”