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Dublin: 9 °C Thursday 25 April, 2019
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Good news for United fans? Real set to sign goalkeeper Casilla to replace Casillas

Minimal difference in name but certain to be quite a gulf in quality between the departed veteran and the new arrival.

Image: Andres Kudacki/AP/Press Association Images

IN WHAT COULD be seen as Real Madrid surrendering the white flag in their relentless pursuit of David de Gea, the Spanish giants have agreed a deal to sign Kiko Casilla from Espanyol for a fee of 4 million pounds (6m euro).

With Iker Casillas having left the club and signed for FC Porto, it seemed inevitable that the capture of de Gea from Manchester United would be completed. But, it seems Ed Woodward and Louis van Gaal have proven stubborn negotiators and Real have lost patience.

The likelihood is that they’ll come back for de Gea next summer but it appears they’re sufficiently happy to allow 28-year-old Casilla battle it out with Keylor Navas for the number one shirt next season. The inexperienced Fernando Pacheco is also part of the squad.

Bizarrely, Casilla is a product of the Real academy and the club still own 50% of his economic rights, so that’s why the transfer fee may seem a little low.

He’s been at Espanyol since 2008 though spent two seasons on loan at Cadiz and one with Cartagena.

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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