Real Madrid star forward Raúl has an offer to join Red Bull New York, according to reports in Madrid.
Those reports claim the former talisman for Los Blancos has an received a salary offer from the Major League Soccer team that is comparable to his current compensation from Real Madrid.
The 32-year-old forward has spent his entire career at the Santiago Bernabeu, but after the summer acquisitions of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema to augment the emergence of Gonzalo Higuaín, the Real Madrid captain has received few first team opportunities. Madrid’s last two matches, however, Raúl has started, after being out of the starting XI each of the preceding nine.
As noted in Marca’s report, Raúl has historically refused to close the door on a move to Major League Soccer, saying before a Champions League match last season “as experience, I could go to play a year in the United States.”
Raúl’s agent, in the same Marca article, says the forward “has offers to play in the United States and Qatar.”
Raúl’s current contract runs through the end of the 2010-11 season and has a clause which could automatically extend the deal by one year should the forward make 30 appearances.
The contract reportedly pays Raúl an annual salary of €6.3 million, or about $8.7 million. A comparable salary could make the Spaniard the highest paid player in the history of Major League Soccer, out-earning David Beckham’s current $6.5 million salary with the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Diario Marca, otherwise known as just Marca or La Marca, is a Madrid-based daily sports newspaper considered by many to be a mouth-piece for Real Madrid. Thus, there is extra significance to today’s Raúl post, which closes “If (Raúl wants to move before 2011), Real Madrid would not stand in the way.”
This year, Raúl has three goals in nineteen league appearances, eight of which were starts. Last season, Raúl scored 24 goals in 45 all competition appearances, helping Real Madrid to a second place finish in the Spanish Primera.
Earlier this season, Raúl set the record for Spanish league appearances for Real Madrid, appearing in his 524th league match on September 23. He has since run his appearance record to 536 matches.
In all, Raúl has made 729 appearances for Real Madrid since coming over from the Atlético Madrid youth system and making his debut with Los Blancos in 1994. He has a club-record 321 all competition goals and has been a part of six La Liga champions, three times winning the UEFA Champions League.
Raúl has been named UEFA Club Forward of the Year three times and has won two Pichichi as Spain’s leading scorer.
For Spain, Raúl has been capped 102 times and is the country’s all-time leading scorer with 44 goals.