Casillas to leave Real Madrid

Madrid, June 11 (IANS) Spain international goalkeeper Iker Casillas is close to putting an end to his 17-year career with Real Madrid.

The 34-year-old is reportedly working on an agreement with the club which would allow him to leave the club he made his debut with as an 18-year-old in the 1998-99 season, reports Xinhua.

Casillas has made 725 appearances for Real Madrid as well as playing 161 times for Spain but his form has dipped in recent seasons. Although he was first choice for former coach Carlo Ancelotti, he spent last season watching from the bench as Diego Lopez was preferred in La Liga.

The previous seasons had seen his relationship with then coach Jose Mourinho deteriorate badly and Mourinho had also relegated him to the bench amid rumours that Casillas was behind a series of leaks of information from the dressing room.

With David de Gea expected to sign for Real Madrid in the coming days and Costa Rica international Kaylor Navas brought in a year ago, Casillas has found his place once again under pressure and this season has seen him booed and whistled by a section of Real Madrid fans as every possible error he has made has been given intense scrutiny.

This latest movement comes after Casillas declared on May 27 that he was “certain that I will carry on (at Madrid), I feel good and I feel strong”. However, de Gea’s probable arrival and offers from clubs outside Spain appear to have caused him to change his mind.

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