Kiko Casilla is closing on his exit at Leeds and will undergo a medical at Elche in the coming days – and Victor Orta reportedly soon hopes to sign a replacement.
The Spaniard has endured a mixed career at Elland Road after signing from Real Madrid in January 2019. While he spent a full year as the club’s No 1, he then faced a racism charge and a subsequent eight-game ban. During his absence, Illan Meslier seized his chance and has become the club’s undisputed first-choice stopper.
Furthermore, he earned a long-term contract last summer and has not looked back since.
Despite playing an important role in spurring Meslier on, though, Casilla has struggled for game time himself.
As such, it emerged on Friday that Leeds are willing to let him move on and a return to Spain has been agreed.
It’s since been revealed that Casilla has now been cleared to travel to Spain, and will hold a medical with Elche early next week. If all goes to plan, he will move back to LaLiga on an initial loan deal with the Spanish side paying a portion of the keeper’s £40,000 a week salary.
The deal is likely to include an option to make the move permanent. Either way, it seems unlikely that Casilla will be seen in a Leeds shirt again.
As such, the club are already exploring a number of options who the club can sign as a replacement goalkeeper. As per Football Insider, director of football Victor Orta is working hard to identify a potential solution and is confident a successor will be found.
Leeds had been hoping to sign Angus Gunn from Southampton last month, but he instead opted to make a £5m move to Norwich.
Any goalkeeper Leeds sign must be comfortable with the ball at their feet and able to play ‘the Bielsa way’.
Leeds have also been linked with Sam Johnstone, but West Brom’s £18m valuation makes that deal unlikely.
Junior Firpo explains Leeds move
Leeds earlier this week completed their first major signing of the summer in the form of full-back Junior Firpo.
And the Dominican Republic-born star has explained how he was convinced to make the move from Barcelona.
Speaking to LiveNow, he said: “All the people know we had a lot of clubs interested in me. But when I talk with Victor [Orta] he explained to me the project they wanted.
“In this moment I felt something with this club. I saw many videos on YouTube, full stadium. These fans, I believe, will be really, really good for me and all the club.
“I take this decision to be here. Maybe it can possibly be a bit of a risk, but I will take the risk. I want to be here and we will do a nice season.
“At the moment when Victor explained to me the project I really feel something and you can ask my wife. There is so many teams, but I said, since day one. Victor speak with me and I feel this club will be really, really special for us.”