Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas squashed rumours surrounding his exit to a Premier League side in a television interview this week with El Hormiguero.
Casillas stressed his commitment to Los Blancos and said he intends to spend several more years at the Bernabeu.
“Real Madrid is my here and now,” he said, according to a transcript of the interview on as.com. “I’m delighted to be at Madrid. In five or six years we’ll see.”
Rumours had circulated that the club captain was growing unsettled due to a lack of playing time under manager Carlo Ancelotti. Casillas has been limited to Copa del Ray and Champions League matches and has not made a single appearance in La Liga.
Arsenal and Manchester City were alleged to be interested in signing the Spaniard in the 2014 summer transfer window.
Were Casillas to go to the London side, he could join former Madrid teammate Mesut Özil and Spanish national teammates Nacho Monreal and Santi Cazorla. City are struggling to determine a regular goalkeeper due to the shaky form of Joe Hart.
“There’s a lot of speculation about me,” Casillas said in his interview with El Hormiguero. “Every day there are rumours and these reports can appear. I’m a Real Madrid player, it’s where I’ve always been and I want to stay here. My decision at the present time is to stay at Real Madrid. I want to win la Decima, more cups and more leagues.”
Casillas has struggled to reclaim a consistent starting spot after being benched in the 2012-13 season by then-manager Jose Mourinho.
In his interview, Casillas said he is prepared to compete with fellow Spaniard Diego López for a starting spot.
“The coaches are there to decide who the best is,” he said. “I’ve don’t have any problems. I compete and I like challenges. Competition is a good thing. It doesn’t worry me. I try to train well and enjoy myself.”
The man known as “San Iker” is revered in Madrid, and he has been with Los Merengues since signing for the youth squad in 1990.
He holds the club record for most appearances by a goalkeeper, and he is also the all-time leader in caps for the Spanish national team.
In 2008, he signed a “contract for life” with Madrid. The contract keeps him at the Bernabeu through the 2016-17 season with a clause that allows for an extension if he makes at least 30 appearances per year.