The New York Cosmos have agreed on contract terms with former Real Madrid and Spain striker Raul, a source with knowledge of the negotiations told ESPNFC.com.
The Spanish icon is expected to sign the contract as soon as this week and will join the NASL club in time for the 2015 spring season. He will also head up the Cosmos' youth academy, which is expected to launch next year. While Raul's exact salary is not known, the source said that the player has agreed to a multi-year deal.
Raul, 37, made 102 appearances for Spain and his 44 goals are second all-time behind David Villa. He has spent the bulk of his club career with Real Madrid, and is the club's all-time leading scorer, tallying 323 times in all competitions.
After completing his 16th season with los Blancos in 2010 -- a spell in which the club won six La Liga titles and three UEFA Champions League crowns -- he moved to Bundesliga side Schalke 04. Raul played two seasons for the Gelsenkirchen-based club, after which he moved to Qatari side Al-Saad, where he spent two seasons. He made his last appearance for Al-Saad last March.
Since that time, the Cosmos have been aggressively pursuing Raul. Published reports indicated that there was a time when it looked like the former Spanish international might join up with New York during the fall season. But Real Madrid then made an offer to Raul to be its technical director, while Al-Saad made a push for the player to head up its academy.
The additional options delayed his final decision, but the Cosmos were persistent, and after Raul visited the club earlier this month, the two sides were able to agree to terms, the source said.