Man City in bid for Raul

MADRID: English Premier League side Manchester City has offered Spanish champions Real Madrid 40 million euros (54 million dollars) for their striker Raul, Spanish sports daily Marca reported Friday.

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the English side's billionaire backer, is willing to pay this amount plus any transfer fees to recruit the 31-year-old Spanish international, the newspaper added.

Raul, a five-time La Liga winner and three-time Champions League victor, has been strongly recommended to Manchester City by Brazilian star Robinho, who the English side recruited from Real in a shock move in August 2008, it added.

The player has reportedly sparked interest from other English top flight sides, including Newcastle and Liverpool.

Raul is under contract with Real until 2011. Earlier this year he became the club's all time top scorer and he has scored 18 times in La Liga this season.