Iker Casillas is set to leave his boyhood club Real Madrid after spending 25 years at the club according to Marca and AS.
The World Cup winning goalkeeper is set to join Portuguese side FC Porto on Friday.
Casillas joined Real Madrid as a child and is one of the most decorated players in the club’s history, winning five La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys and three Champions Leagues.
The 34-year-old has made 725 appearances for Madrid since 1999 but a notable dip in form – first spotted by Jose Mourinho when he dropped his keeper in the 2012-13 season – has made him expendable at the Bernabeu.
The Madrid legend has to make way for the Spanish young goalkeeper David De Gea from Manchester United as Spanish media El Confidencial reports that a transfer fee of £28.5 million has been agreed between the two clubs for him which was covered in our previous article.
It is in neither Real nor Casillas’ interests to delay the switch beyond the weekend because the club begin their pre-season tour of Australia and China on Monday. Its completion will unlock their bid to sign David de Gea from Manchester United.
In the last few days Real have agreed to ensure Casillas earns the same at his new club over the next two seasons as he would have earned by staying in Madrid until the end of his contract in 2017.
This will see them paying the difference between the £5.4million (€7.5m) salary he earns at Madrid and the £2.5m (€3.5m) Porto are prepared to pay him. Once this part of the deal has been signed off by president Florentino Perez the 10-time European Cup winners and the most decorated goalkeeper in history can part company.
Casillas’ agent Carlo Cutropia has already gone public on the fact that: ‘Iker is interested in Porto and Porto are interested in Iker,’ and the team coached by Spaniard Julen Lopetegui are happy to make Casillas their highest earner.
New Real Madrid boss Rafael Benitez is not in favour of using one goalkeeper in the league and one goalkeeper in the Champions League as Carlo Ancelotti did two years ago, so when De Gea arrives it would only leave Casillas the Spanish Cup games.
Now Casillas could even face Real Madrid in next season’s Champions League as he joins Lopetugui who already has six Spaniards in his Porto squad and both his assistant coaches are Spanish.