Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur managers Sir Alex Ferguson and Harry Redknapp pondered bringing Schalke striker Raul to the Premier League, it has been revealed.
Ahead of the Champions League semi-final first leg between the Red Devils and Schalke in Gelsenkirchen on Tuesday, Ferguson admitted that he may have made a move for the former Real Madrid forward last summer if he did not already have Michael Owen on his books.
“He had a fantastic career at Madrid and players like that always find something in terms of ambition," he said. "They don’t just wither away. He still had plenty to do. But we had Michael Owen as an experienced player, as well as Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney plus we had signed Javier Hernandez.
“If I hadn’t got Michael Owen I might have been tempted."
White Hart Lane boss Redknapp also turned down the opportunity to sign the veteran before he opted to join Schalke, according to the Tottenham manager’s son Jamie.
The Sky Sports pundit confirmed that Spurs were among a number of clubs, including Manchester United, who were approached by the Spaniard's representatives last summer.
“Tottenham were among the other clubs who were contacted when he was released by Real Madrid,” he said.
“For my dad, it didn't go any further than an approach from agents, who were hawking him around.
"Raul hadn't been playing regularly for Real Madrid and it was too much of a gamble. Nothing came of it and he went to Schalke, which was an unusual choice of club for him."
Raul eventually joined the German club, who have defied the odds to reach the Champions League semi-finals where they face Manchester United.
He has scored 12 goals in 31 games for his new club, netting in both legs of their Champions League quarter final victory against holders Inter Milan.
By Steve Normancomments