Who is Real Madrid goalkeeper Kiko Casilla as he nears Leeds United move

Leeds United are closing in on their first signing of the January window as Real Madrid goalkeeper Kiko Casilla nears a switch to Elland Road - but what do you need to know about the 32-year-old?
Real Madrid goalkeeper Kiko Casilla.Real Madrid goalkeeper Kiko Casilla.
Real Madrid goalkeeper Kiko Casilla.

Casilla will fly to England next week to complete the formalities on deal that sees the Whites buy out the remaining 18 months of his contract at the Bernabeu after Marcelo Bielsa gave his blessing on the transfer.

Here's a profile of the Spaniard...

Name: Kiko Casilla

Age: 32

Nationality: Spain

Previous clubs: Real Madrid C, Real Madrid B, Espanyol B, Espanyol, Cadiz (loan), Catagena (loan), Real Madrid

Current club: Real Madrid

Position: Goalkeeper

Who is Kiko Casilla?

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The Spaniard came through the youth ranks at Real Madrid but failed to make an impression at first-team level during his first stint at the Bernabeu with appearances limited to the reserve ranks for the Spanish giants.

After appearing for Real Madrid's 'B' and 'C' sides since graduating from the academy in 2004 Casilla was released before joining fellow La Liga side Espanyol just three years later.

Having been linked with a move to Arsenal in 2007 the Spaniard was sent out on loan to Cadiz half way through the campaign where he would spend the next 18 months before making another loan move to Cartagena.

Following his return to Espanyol, Casilla finally pinned down the number one jersey as he went on to make over 100 appearances for the club.

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He returned to the Bernabeu in 2015 for a fee of more than £5m where he has featured in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League as a back-up stopper predominantly. Casilla has picked up three Champions League medals and one La Liga medal during his second spell in Madrid.

What would he bring to Leeds United?

A vast wealth of experience can be expected as the Spaniard looks set to challenge current number one Bailey Peacock-Farrell at Thorp Arch.

Having grown up through the Real Madrid academy and been a key back-up to Keylor Navas under Zinedine Zidane's stewardship at Real Madrid in recent seasons Casilla has developed into a strong player with the ball at his feet.

The Galacticos passing style mean he should fit well into Marcelo Bielsa's style of play and provide strong competition for the starting spot in goal following the injury to Jamal Blackman in November.

Following the acquisition of Thibaut Courtois last summer he has fallen down the ranks at the Bernabeu and comes to Leeds in search of first-team football.