Wolves Close to Signing Braga Striker Paulinho – Man Utd & Juventus Interested in Raul Jimenez

Raul Jimenez
Raul Jimenez is on the radar of both Juventus and Manchester United | Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

Wolves are close to agreeing a deal for Sporting Braga striker Paulinho, with top scorer Raul Jimenez on the radar of both Juventus and Manchester United.

27-year-old Paulinho netted 17 goals in 29 Liga NOS games for Braga this season, also scoring four times in the Europa League. This represents the best top flight scoring campaign of his career so far and his performances have garnered Premier League interest.

Sources have indicated to 90min that Wolves have agreed a £30m move for Paulinho, who has been included in several Portugal squads but is yet to win his first cap. The news has also travelled in Portugal on Thursday afternoon.

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Paulinho was two goals shy of clinching the Liga Nos Golden Boot this season | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Once again super agent Jorge Mendes – who was also responsible for bringing fellow Portuguese stars Ruben Neves, João Moutinho and Rui Patrício to Molineux – is the architect of the deal. 90min understands that Mendes is offering Paulinho to offset the departure of Wolves’ star man, Jimenez.

The Mexican has been instrumental since joining the club in the summer of 2018 and his excellent scoring rate has attracted attention from big European clubs. Wolves had been looking for a fee of around £100m for the player, though somewhere closer to £70m could be enough to land the 29-year-old.

As reported by reputable Portuguese outlet RTP (via Sport Witness) and as corroborated by 90min’s sources, he is also on United’s radar, while Serie A champions Juventus have been chasing Jimenez all summer.

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Raul Jimenez could be on his way out of Wolves | Sam Bagnall – AMA/Getty Images

United continue to monitor his situation closely. Per 90min sources he was on a list of potential striking targets for the summer, though United had initially planned to spend money on Jude Bellingham and Jack Grealish, two midfielders, given how they were expecting matters to play out. Jadon Sancho has always sat at the top of their list.

Their stance on Sancho hasn’t changed and they are currently working on a deal for the player. The Independent report on Thursday that they may be able to land the player for an initial £60m fee, while the Red Devils remain confident of getting the deal over the line.

The remainder of their budget was initially set aside for Grealish and Bellingham, but circumstances have changed around the pair in recent weeks. 17-year-old Bellingham joined Borussia Dortmund over United, and the club had initially seen Grealish as a potential replacement for Paul Pogba.

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The club are now reassessing their plan to push on for the Aston Villa captain given Pogba now looks likely to stay at United for this summer at least, so they have money to spend in other areas.

United have been looking to sign a centre forward since Romelu Lukaku’s departure, and the loan spell for Odion Ighalo is set to end in January 2021. The deal is unlikely to be made permanent and United are looking at other options – Jimenez being one.

Milan Skriniar, Pau Torres and Kalidou Koulibaly are also being looked at as central defensive targets as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continues to rebuild his squad after securing Champions League football.

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