Arsenal and Manchester City have received a seemingly hefty blow in the race to sign Real Madrid stalwart Iker Casillas.
32-year-old Casillas, who has spent the entire duration of a glittering career with the La Liga giants, has seen his future become the subject of persistently fervent speculation over recent months after he was first dropped from Real's starting lineup by previous manager Jose Mourinho.
After reportedly falling out with the controversial Portuguese, Casillas was replaced as first-choice goalkeeper - a position he had very much made his own during the previous decade - by compatriot Diego Lopez.
Following Mourinho's departure and the subsequent arrival of Carlo Ancelotti at the Santiago Bernabeu during the summer, many had expected Casillas to be restored to the first XI on a permanent basis.
This has not been the case, however, and Casillas - who has earned 151 senior international caps for his native Spain - continues to be linked with a move to the English-top flight with title rivals Arsenal and City believed to be in the running for his signature.
Those aforementioned clubs look as if they may face difficulty in convincing him to join, however, with model-professional Casillas insisting that he will not issue an ultimatum to his current employers over his future.
"My statements are straightforward and sincere. There is no ultimatum," he was quoted by talkSPORT.