Former Spain striker Raul has signed for German side Schalke, ending Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United's interest in bringing the former Real Madrid forward to the Premier League.
The 33-year-old announced he was leaving the Santiago Bernabeu on Monday after an illustrious 18-seasons and had declared that his future lied in either England or Germany, fueling talk of a move to White Hart Lane or St James' Park.
But on Wednesday, last season's Bundesliga runners-up announced they had won the race to bring Raul to Gelsenkirchen on a two-year contract.
“We have signed an exceptional footballer and a world-class goalscorer,” Schalke coach Felix Magath told reporters. "His signing is a decisive step in our efforts to strengthen and restructure the squad.”
The German team had been in the market for a striker ever since Kevin Kuranyi's left to join Dynamo Moscow in May, leaving a significant hole in the attack.
Raul bagged an impressive 323 goals in 741 games in helping Los Galaticos to six La Liga titles and three Champions League crowns, earning him legendary status in the Spanish capital.
With that sort of record, it was hardly surprising to see the likes of Spurs boss Harry Redknapp and Newcastle's Chris Hughton chasing the veteran's signature despite his advancing years.
Real's president Florentino Perez led the tributes to the departing superstar when saying: “We will never forget Raul.
“There are many men who form part of the legend of Real Madrid but few are chosen to embody the club – and Raul is one of those.”
Tottenham already appear to have moved their sights onto other transfer targets, with a bid for West Ham midfielder Scott Parker rejected this morning. Newcastle, meanwhile, have this morning confirmed the signing of former Spurs and Arsenal defender Sol Campbell.
By James Martinicomments