Berlin: Cologne's Germany star Lukas Podolski is being targeted by German league rivals Schalke 04 as a replacement for Spain striker Raul next summer, the German media reported Thursday.
Podolski, 26, is under contract with Cologne until 2013, but Gelsenkirchen-based Schalke are viewing him as a replacement next summer for Raul, 34, whose contract expires in June.
Cologne have repeatedly said they want to extend Podolski's contract when the Bundesliga's winter break starts on December 18.
"I'd like to hear what they have to say, but I won't put myself under any pressure," Podolski told Germany daily Bild, whose 11 goals in 13 games makes him the league's joint third top-scorer with Cologne 12th in the Bundesliga.
"I am taking the necessary time to think about what is right for me.
"I want to know how to help develop the club."
With four teams entering the Champions League next season, rather than the current three, Schalke, currently fourth in the Bundesliga, have a good chance of playing in Europe's top club competition next season.
But the Royal Blues were staying tight-lipped over any interest in Podolski while Raul has yet to commit to a contract extension at Schalke with talks planned for later this month.
"Lukas Podolski is a great player, who has a contract in Cologne, I am not saying any more than that," Schalke's director of sport Horst Heldt told Bild.
Podolsk has spent most of his career at Cologne, apart from an unsuccessful three years at Bayern when he failed to establish himself before returning to the Rhineland club in 2009.