Door opened for Spanish legend's Premier League move

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Schalke manager Huub Stevens has refused to confirm where Raul's future lies, with the Spaniard out of contract at the end of the season.

The former Real Madrid striker, in the twilight of his career, has been a revelation at Schalke, but has only 12 months on his deal remaining.

Blackburn Rovers were heavily linked with a move for Raul, while the player admitted earlier this year he was close to a move to Manchester United.

"I am just back at Schalke for one week now," he said. "I am unable to make a statement on that (Raul's contract).

"It is enjoyable to work with such a professional. He is a pure professional in this game and a true family man.

"I am not out to discuss what went on before I came here. In principle, I think you cannot really treat every player the same.


"A player like Raul does not need to tackle with me as manager. He needs to feel good and should be treated like Franck Ribery is getting treated by Bayern Munich.

"If you hand such a creative force more freedom, he will reward this with giving a lot back to your team."

On his move to United, Raul said earlier this year that there were a number of Premier League sides he could have joined.

"A couple of possibilities [from England] and United was one," he said. "I love the footballing culture there, the respect for the game, the atmosphere, the intensity.

"I've been at Old Trafford, Arsenal, at Liverpool watching Fernando Morientes and it's special."

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