Real Madrid goalkeeper says yes to move to Leeds United

Date published: Saturday 12th January 2019 10:21

Real Madrid’s third-choice goalkeeper Kiko Casilla will arrive in West Yorkshire to complete the formalities of his move to Leeds after the Championship club agreed a deal with the European champions.

A report in the Yorkshire Evening Post late on Friday night confirmed the Whites had struck a deal with Real that would see the Whites buy the 32-year-old out of the final 18 months of his contract in Madrid.

Casilla, who was developed through the Real academy, finds himself behind summer signing Thibaut Courtois and Keylo Navas at the Bernabeu and has told his club he is ready to accept the challenge of joining the Championship table-toppers in a permanent deal.

Casilla will arrive in England early next week where Leeds will put him through a medical, which if he passes, will trigger his expected move to Marcelo Bielsa’s side.

Should all go according to plan, Casilla will sign in time to be added to their squad for next weekend’s trip to face Stoke at the bet365 Stadium.

The move for Casilla ends the club’s long search for a new goalkeeper. Leeds had identified Newcastle keeper Karl Darlow as the experienced keeper they wanted, but it was reported that the promotion-chasers were unwilling to meet Newcastle’s £4million asking price with Bielsa’s side chasing a loan deal only.

Leeds have also been linked with Burnley’s Tom Heaton and Sheffield Wednesday’s Keiren Westwood, while Southampton’s Fraser Forster emerged as a potential target after the south-coast club confirmed they were willing to let the England international leave on loan.

But the signing of Casilla will give Bielsa the competition he is looking for for Bailey Peacock-Farrell, who has been first choice all season, but would have lost his place had loanee Jamal Blackman not suffered a season-ending injury.

Confirmation of a new keeper will turn Leeds – 2-0 winners over Derby on Friday night – focus to the acquisition of a new winger and a new attacking midfielder, two positions which the club identified for strengthening before the window opened.

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