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By ESPN Staff

Tonnies keen to keep hold of Raul

Schalke chairman Clemens Tonnies has not ruled out offering striker Raul a new contract next season after being impressed by the Spaniard since his arrival from Real Madrid last year.

Raul, 34, was rumoured to be close to leaving the club this summer before committing himself to the remaining 10 months of his contract. And Tonnies now hopes this campaign will not be Raul's last for the Royal Blues.

"I am proud with every minute that Raul plays for Schalke,'' said Tonnies on Sport1 television. "He is an amazing personality. We will wait to see how the season goes and then find the right moment to discuss whether he could maybe add another year on.''

Should Schalke qualify for the Champions League next season, thereby giving Raul the chance to add to his current goalscoring record in that competition, those negotiations would be facilitated.

However, despite a bright start to the season which has taken Schalke up to second behind Bayern Munich, Tonnies has warned his club's fans not to get carried away.

"We are still going to experience setbacks,'' he said. "That has to be expected. But the lads are hungry and a great team is being formed and there is a great euphoria at the club that will carry us forward a fair way, but we are not going to end the season where we are now.''

Schalke have yet to win a Bundesliga title and Tonnies is intentionally lowering the expectations. "To always proclaim the title as our aim I think puts a great weight on the club, the players and the whole troop,'' he said.

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