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Sun Apr 20 05:13:23 SAST 2014

Hot-shot Raul keen to extend stay at Schalke

Sapa-AFP | 19 December, 2011 08:530 Comments
FC Schalke 04 v SV Werder Bremen  - Bundesliga
Raul Gonzalez of Schalke celebrates after the Bundesliga match between Schalke and Werder Bremen at Veltins Arena on December 17, 2011 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany
Image by: Christof Koepsel / Bongarts/Getty Images

Veteran striker Raul has said he is eager to stay at Schalke 04 with his contract set to expire in 2012 and extension talks with the Royal Blues due to be held in the winter break.

The 34-year-old served a timely reminder of his finishing skills  with a hat-trick in Schalke’s 5-0 drubbing of Werder Bremen on Saturday before the German league began its traditional winter break.

Schalke’s director of sport Horst Heldt has said the Royal Blues  will sit down to discuss Raul’s contract with the ex-Real Madrid star after Christmas, but the Spain veteran insists he wants to stay.

“I’m very happy here and would love to stay,” said Raul with Schalke third in the Bundesliga behind leaders Bayern Munich and defending champions Dortmund.

“It was a big step from Real to Schalke, but it is a wonderful experience. I enjoy playing here.”   

Heldt revealed last weekend Schalke are interested in signing Germany striker Lukas Podolski from Cologne and talks with Raul are  likely to be decided by how much money the Spaniard wants and how much Schalke can offer.

“I would like to extend the contracts of many players, even with  Raul,” said Heldt.

“I’d like to sign up Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, but that is a wish list. You have to weigh things up. I do not know what his demands will be, he will be thinking of his future.

“I think his family is more important to him than money, it’s about a fundamental decision for himself and his family.”  

With 10 goals in 17 games this season, Raul is not the top scorer at Schalke with Dutchman Klaas-Jan Huntelaar having scored 15 goals in 16 games.

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