MADRID: Rayo Vallecano coach Paco Jemez has said his struggling side have asked Real Madrid to allow top scorer Raul de Thomas, who is on loan from Real, to play in Sunday's game between the two sides which is pivotal to Rayo's chances of avoiding relegation.
De Thomas has spent the last two seasons on loan at Rayo from Madrid and has scored 14 goals for the minnows, who are currently bottom of La Liga and six points from escaping the drop zone with five games to go.
De Thomas' loan agreement contains a clause preventing him from facing his parent club unless Rayo pay Madrid an undisclosed fee.
Not all loan players are blocked from playing against their parent clubs. Two seasons ago, Munir El Haddadi played and scored against Barcelona in two separate La Liga games while he was on loan at Valencia from the Catalans.
"We are doing everything possible to be able to count on Raul de Thomas, for now no-one is listening to us but we have to wait and see," Jemez told a news conference ahead of his side's league game against Sevilla on Thursday.
"Everyone is free to do what they want with their players and I deeply respect it, plus there is a contract. But we are asking Real Madrid to do us the favour of letting Raul play."
Real are third in the standings and have little but pride to play for in the remainder of the campaign, as they are mathematically out of the title race yet are practically assured of finishing in the top four.
"If they had anything at stake we wouldn't think to ask them," added Jemez.
"But if they say no we won't complain about it."
Real declined to comment.
(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Christian Radnedge)