Raul: Why he snubbed 'serious' Manchester United offer

The agent of Real Madrid legend Raul has disclosed that he had a real opportunity to sign for Manchester United.

One of the most prolific strikers of the past decade has admitted he could have joined Manchester United.

Raul won La Liga six times with Real Madrid and the Champions League on three occasions, scoring more than 300 goals for the club.

He left for Schalke in 2010, where he played for two years before joining Qatari side Al Sadd - helping them win their first title in five years.

At 36, he has been back in the limelight this week, with a specially organised friendly taking place between Al Sadd and Real Madrid on Thursday evening, billed as his 'homecoming' to the Bernabeu.

Signing his first contract with Real Madrid back in 1994, he spent 16 years in total at the club, but his path afterwards was nearly very different.

Speaking to Spanish newspaper Marca, his agent Gines Carvajal has revealed he had a 'serious' approach from Manchester United.

"The first decision was to leave and the second whether to leave to compete or not. He chose to compete.

"There were a few clubs where he could compete, including Manchester United. But there was one person – that was Felix Magath – who convinced him to go and fight for Schalke."

"The United thing was serious, but there was also some uncertainty surrounding his role in the team – whether he was going to be secondary. For that you might as well stay at home. If he was just going to go and learn English, he could have stayed at Real."

Back in the summer of 2010, United were reeling from Carlo Ancelotti's Chelsea winning the title, and Manchester City's ascendance.

They had just signed Javier Hernandez, and with Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney in the side, Raul clearly felt he would be swapping the intense competition at Real Madrid for an equally tough ask in Manchester.

His decision to sign for Schalke worked out. He extended his Champions League goalscoring record, which still stands at 71 goals, 12 ahead of Lionel Messi.

At the club he was very much the main man, getting the adulation and star role he enjoyed at Real Madrid, leading them to winning the German Cup in his first season.

But watching United demolish his Schalke side 6-1 on aggregate in the Champions League Final that same year, you might well wonder whether he regrets the decision.

That isn't a point his agent discussed in the interview, but it's perfectly conceivable to imagine there are plenty of United fans disappointed they did not get to see the Spaniard in a red shirt at Old Trafford.

Would you have liked to see Raul at United?

image: © Jan S0L0

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