Real Madrid have reached an agreement with Espanyol to sign goalkeeper Kiko Casilla, it has been confirmed.
The 28-year-old, a Los Blancos youth product, will sign a five-year deal with the Santiago Bernabeu club, replacing Iker Casillas, who left for Porto last week.
It is thought Real have paid a fee of around six million euros, around half of what Espanyol were looking for. The 10-time Champions League winners paid less than the market price as they still part owned Casilla, despite letting him go in 2008.
A statement from the club read: “Real Madrid and Espanyol have agreed to the transfer of Kiko Casilla, subject to a necessary medical examination. The player will be tied to the club for the next five seasons.”
It is unclear whether the signing of Casilla will spell an end to Madrid’s pursuit of David de Gea from Manchester United – seen as the long term successor to Casillas for both club and country.
After the deal was announced, Casilla spoke to reporters to express his delight at returning home to the Spanish capital.
“The opportunity to sign for Real Madrid comes only once and I was determined to take it. Iker’s time at Madrid is at an end and I wish him the best, but now it’s my turn. I think he’s the best Madrid goalkeeper ever, though.
“Espanyol gave me the opportunity to become a professional player and I am grateful to the club for letting me leave. They’ll remain a close club to me and I hope to come back someday in the future,” he commented.