Leeds United goalkeeper Kiko Casilla will leave and seal a transfer to Elche this summer after growing frustrated with his lack of game time, according to a report.
Casilla 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 number one, he then faced a racism charge and a subsequent eight-game ban. Illan Meslier stepped in during his initial loan spell, but he impressed and became the 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.
In fact, he played more Under-23s games than Premier League matches last term and the Daily Mirror now reports that he has decided to move on.
Casilla does not want to spend another season as a back-up player and will move back to Spain.
As such, he will complete a move to Elche on loan, with a view to a permanent deal next summer. The La Liga club have agreed to pay a portion of the stopper’s wage to get the deal over the line.
Casilla, though, has an ambitious plan. While he plans to reforge his career at Elche, he wants to put himself in the shop window for potentially another La Liga club.
The Spaniard feels driven by other factors too; he will be closer to his family after struggling to keep in contact during the coronavirus pandemic.
As for how Leeds will respond, the Daily Mirror adds that sporting director Victor Orta feels confident in Meslier continuing to be Casilla’s long-term replacement.
However, he could look to swoop for another young stopper like Meslier.
The 21-year-old played 35 Premier League games last season, keeping 11 clean sheets as Leeds finished ninth.
Leeds complete first summer transfer
The Whites face a key summer transfer window as they look to build on a strong return to the top flight.
Left-back emerged as a top priority and manager Bielsa has added Barcelona’s Junior Firpo to his ranks.
Despite admitting he took a risk over the move, the full-back insisted the project being built at Elland Road will justify his choice.