Is former Real Madrid striker Raul set to leave Schalke?

Reports in the German Press are building that former Real Madrid striker Raul has fallen out of favour with Schalke’s Coach, opening up the possibility of a move.

Schalke’s tactician Ralf Rangnick, who took over in March of this year, has confirmed he is after fast-paced strikers in attack to enable a greater threat on the counter-attack, and a new dimension to what he has described as a side that last season moved forward through otherwise ‘standard routes’. Another option the 53-year-old Coach is after is a No 10 playmaker, but in light of the club’s financial struggles, he has vocalised his frustrations at not being able to initiate action on the transfer market.

Reports in Bild have now linked this overall situation to Raul, with Rangnick suggesting the player lacks the right ‘spark’ for his team. The German paper then cited the Spaniard’s reported refusal to take part in an organised photo opportunity with the club’s fans, and to give pre-season interviews with the Press, as a sign of his frustration at the situation.

Whilst it is thought to be the Coach’s preference on the matter – indeed Rangnick’s successor Coach Felix Magarth was instrumental in Die Knappen’s move for the former Real Madrid man last summer – it is interesting to note that under Rangnick, Raul’s strike-rate improved from 0.34 goals a game to 0.44, and he scored 26% of the team’s goals from March 11’s appointment of the team’s old and again current Coach.

However, on €4m a year, should the 34-year-old not figure in Schalke’s first-team plans, he is likely to be deemed an expensive and influential attribute to have sitting on the bench next season. If the situation intensifies, expect a long list of suitors to enquire after the Champions League’s all-time leading goalscorer.

Ironically as well today, Jose Mourinho confirmed Real Madrid’s intentions of signing one more player in preparation of the 2011-12 La Liga campaign – a striker.

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