Real Madrid goalkeeper Kiko Casilla flying to England ahead of Leeds United medical
Kiko Casilla was flying into England tonight ahead of a medical at Leeds United with the Elland Road club close to finalising his move from Real Madrid.
The Spanish goalkeeper missed Real’s training session this morning and was pictured at Madrid airport this evening as Leeds pushed to secure his permanent transfer from the Bernabeu.
United agreed a deal in principle for 32-year-old Casilla ahead of Friday’s 2-0 win over Derby County and are aiming to complete the signing before the end of this week. He is scheduled to begin his medical tomorrow afternoon.
Casilla was named on the bench for Real Madrid’s win over Real Betis on Sunday due to a minor injury to first choice Thibaut Courtois but he is surplus to requirements under head coach Santiago Solari and is preparing to join Marcelo Bielsa’s squad at Elland Road.
The former Espanyol player – a Spain international – has 18 months left on his contract and Leeds have negotiated to take on his wage and additional costs as part of a deal which will see no fee paid to Real.
Casilla has failed to make a single appearances for Real this season and last played in a competitive fixture during a 3-2 defeat to Sevilla in May.
He was already behind Keylor Navas at the Bernabeu before Courtois arrived from Chelsea in the summer.
His signing will provide a challenge to current Leeds number one Bailey Peacock-Farrell and offer Marcelo Bielsa an experienced alternative for the first time since on-loan Chelsea goalkeeper Jamal Blackman broke a leg during an Under-23s fixture last November.
Peacock-Farrell has started all but one of United’s Championship games under Bielsa but will see his position threatened if Casilla puts pen to paper as planned in the coming days.
Casilla is poised to become Leeds’ first January signing amid firm interest at Elland Road in Swansea City winger Daniel James.
The 21-year-old is a leading target for Bielsa who wants to strengthen his options out wide having moved Pablo Hernandez from the right flank to a central position to compensate for the mid-season loss of Samuel Saiz to Getafe.
James’ contract at Swansea City runs for another 18 months and the club’s manager, Graham Potter, suggested before Christmas that the Swans would be looking to extend his deal.
“It’s something we’ll speak about as a club and with the player,” said Potter. “I don’t have any concerns with Dan.”