Raul left out of Schalke team for Helsinki

Updated: 18 August 2011 13:18 IST

Spain striker Raul has been left out of the Schalke 04 team to play HJK Helsinki on Thursday in their Europa League qualifier, strengthening speculation about the veteran's future at the club.

Berlin:

Spain striker Raul has been left out of the Schalke 04 team to play HJK Helsinki on Thursday in their Europa League qualifier, strengthening speculation about the veteran's future at the club.

According to the Schalke website, Raul has been left out to protect the 34-year-old from playing on the artificial pitch in Helsinki, but his non-selection comes just a day after Schalke rejected an offer for him.

The ex-Real Madrid striker has a contract in Gelsenkirchen until 2012, but Schalke received an official offer for him from England's Blackburn Rovers on Monday which they rejected on Tuesday after a conversation with Raul's agent.

With the transfer window set to close on August 31, Raul's future at the Royal Blues is in doubt.

"Raul wants to stay with us, so there will be no transfer to Blackburn," said Schalke's director of sport Horst Held.

"But I do not know what will happen by the end of the transfer window on August 31."

Having signed for Schalke in July 2010, Raul proved an instant success last season with 19 goals in all competitions including five during the Champions League run which saw his new team reach the semi-finals.

But the German press have repeatedly reported Raul's deteriorating relationship with coach Ralf Rangnick, fuelling speculation the Spaniard is set to leave the Royal Blues.

Topics : Football Shinji Okazaki Borussia Dortmund Real Madrid Valencia Blackburn Rovers Bayern Munchen FC Schalke 04
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