Spanish striker Raúl González has confirmed that he will be leaving German side Schalke 04 at the end of the season.
For several months now, the club has been negotiating a one-year extension to his two-year contract, but Raúl, who allegedly wanted a two-year contract, has decided not to stay.
A brief statement on the club website this morning states that: "Raúl is leaving FC Schalke 04. The 34-year-old's contract ends at the end of the 2011-2012 season. The three-time Champions League winner will explain his reasons, his ideas, his plans for the future and his expectations for the three remaining league games in a press conference later today".
The statement also highlighted the fact that he "has scored 27 goals in 63 matches" and confirmed that the player himself wanted to explain his decision in person.
In the press conference, Raúl told reporters: "This decision has not been easy for me. I would like to than the club for their patience". He said he had spent two happy years with Schalke: "I was always made to feel at home... I want to thank all the technical staff and the fans, who have always given me their unconditional support".
The ex-Real Madrid star left few clues about his next move, but did say: "My footballing future is not in Europe. Over the coming weeks, I'll look at the offers and then take a decision".