Nuno: Jimenez to Man Utd talk not a distraction

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Last Updated: 07/07/20 3:35pm

Wolves' Raul Jimenez has been the subject of transfer speculation amid comments from his Mexico coach

Wolves' Raul Jimenez has been the subject of transfer speculation amid comments from his Mexico coach

Wolves’ Raul Jimenez has been the subject of transfer speculation amid comments from his Mexico coach

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo says comments made by Mexico manager Gerardo Martino over Raul Jimenez’s future are “not an issue”.

Jimenez’s international boss believes the striker would be better off joining Manchester United rather than moving to Serie A side Juventus or staying at Wolves.

Jimenez has been a standout performer for Wolves this campaign, helping them into sixth in the Premier League and the last 16 of the Europa League, but Nuno is relaxed about the speculation.

“It’s not an issue for us, we have a competition and a game to play,” Nuno said ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Sheffield United.

Nuno Espirito Santo is not phased by speculation about Jimenez's future Nuno Espirito Santo is not phased by speculation about Jimenez's future

Nuno Espirito Santo is not phased by speculation about Jimenez’s future

“We have a lot of things in front of us. It’s not the moment to think about anything else. I’m sure Raul is totally, 100 per cent focused on what he has to do at Wolves.

“They are things which you can’t control, it’s up to you to decide if you pay attention or not. I admire Tata (Martino), he is a big manager, and honestly it doesn’t distract us.”

Jimenez’s prolific form is just one of the reasons why Wolves sit just five points behind Chelsea in the race for the top four.

“Looking at it from the outside today I cannot see a specialist number nine like Raul at United,” Martino told ESPN.

“There are many forwards like (Marcus) Rashford, (Anthony) Martial and the boy who now plays as right winger, (Mason) Greenwood but since Romelu Lukaku left I can’t see a pure number nine like Raul.

“At Juventus he will have more of a fight because (Cristiano) Ronaldo shares the inside of the pitch with whoever plays alongside him, with (Paulo) Dybala or with (Gonzalo) Higuain and maybe he has a tougher fight there.”

Wolves are aiming to respond after Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Arsenal ended their 100 per cent run since the Premier League resumed last month.

Nuno was full of praise for Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder Nuno was full of praise for Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder

Nuno was full of praise for Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder

Sheffield United are four points behind in ninth with Nuno paying tribute to opposite number Chris Wilder.

“We know Sheffield [United], I know Chris,” Nuno said.

“When we played them I started looking at their process, they played the same players in League One and then he goes to the Championship and the Premier League with the same core – he is the real magician.”

Pedro Neto is a doubt for the game but January arrival Daniel Podence should be available.

The forward has been self-isolating after flying to Portugal last week for personal reasons but Wolves have received special dispensation.

The government had already stated sports teams involved in elite competition will be granted exemption from the 14-day travel quarantine rule.

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