May 9, 2012; Chester, PA, USA; FC Schalke forward Raul (7) during the first half against the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
When the Philadelphia Union hosted FC Schalke 04 in an international friendly on Wednesday night, the talk was centered around a player, but it wasn't the one who had scored 48 goals in 49 games in 2011-2012.
Instead the hype surrounded Raul, who was supposed to be playing in his last game for Schalke. The former Real Madrid legend was rumored to be set to retire from European soccer and seeking a new home.
The Philadelphia soccer media jumped on rumors of Schalke's visit being a potential showcase of PPL Park, the fanbase and the Union as a possible destination for Raul.
However, it apparently was never meant to be, as the former Spanish international had already made up his mind prior to the game.
Money talked for Raul, who would have given up almost $10 million if he had chosen to come to Philadelphia, who wouldn't have been able to meet his $4 million salary with Schalke, let alone what his Qatar deal reportedly will be.
"Source says [the Union] did speak at length with him, but the [Qatar] deal [was] already done," Kerith Gabriel, of the Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com, said on Twitter. "While official numbers are yet to be released, Raul's Qatar deal is a reported $12 million plus ambassador title to promote 2022 World Cup."
With the international transfer window only a month away, the 'silly season' rumors will most likely not end with Raul. Contracts end in July, and players like Clarence Seedorf, who has previously been linked to the Union, will become available on free transfers.