Need for more attackers sends Schalke in direction of Baptista

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Schalke have confirmed that Julio Baptista remains a transfer target this summer as they look to seal a deal with Roma for the Brazilian striker.

Manager Felix Magath has already added Real Madrid legend Raul to his attacking options this summer, while Jefferson Farfan is also on their books.

However, with Baptista struggling for form in Italy, Magath is hopeful of beating off the advances of a number of other big clubs across Europe to gain the 28-year-old’s signature for around £4m.

He told the Rheinische Post: “The rebuilding of the club has just started. If we want to fulfil our expectation we need new quality inside the squad. We could use some more signatures.

“Julio Baptista is a good player. There will be something worked out in the next ten days, that is for sure. We definitely need to become stronger in attack.”

Baptista is not the first Brazilian linked with a move to the Veltins-Arena this summer as Manchester City star Robinho has been targeted by clubs including Schalke, Besiktas and Barcelona.

Schalke finished second in the Bundesliga behind Bayern Munich last season and failed to get their present campaign off to the best start when seeing Benedikt Howedes sent off in a 2-1 defeat at Hamburg.

They are 8/1 to win the Bundesliga this season for the first time since 1958, although they have finished runners up in four of the last ten years.

Their finish last year also ensured a guaranteed spot in the group stages of the Champions League, for which they are 66/1 to witness success.

Bayern reached the final of the Champions League last season and are 14/1 to go one better in May and win the tournament.

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