It would appear that Iker Casillas' 25-year association with Real Madrid is coming to a close, as a formal bid has been made by Portuguese side FC Porto.
Casillas has made his feelings clear on the matter via his agent, who is claiming that he wants to leave the Santiago Bernabeu, a venue where he has achieved so much success during his illustrious career.
“Iker is interested in Porto and Porto are interested in Iker. We hope Madrid facilitate his departure,” Casillas’ agent, Carlo Cutropia, told Portuguese media.
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Real are seemingly desperate to make Casillas leave so as to be able to acquire the services of United goalkeeper David de Gea.
De Gea is seen as the future of Spanish goalkeepers and he will usurp Casillas as the international team's number one. According to The Guardian, Madrid have not yet accepted the bid from Porto as they are apparently holding out for more money for the illustrious 'keeper.
The process of letting Casillas leave has been mutual, as both sides want the relationship to end and it would seem that the interest in De Gea is a motivation for Casillas to make him move on quickly.
Casillas the hero
Casillas is one of the most decorated goalkeepers of all time and widely regarded by the top players as perhaps the greatest player to have ever played in his position.
He began his Real career while still only in school and to date has made 725 appearances for Los Blancos. His career at the Bernabeu has spanned 16 years, during which he has won the Champions League three times and La Liga five times.
Casillas moving to Porto seems the most likely outcome to the current saga, as many top European clubs were certainly interested in the 34-year-old but unwilling to match his huge wage demands.
Casillas earns €7.5million-a-year at Real, and it's said the goalkeeper’s initial preference was to have the final two years of his contract paid off in full and walk away as a free agent, though this doesn't look like being the case.
De Gea the man for Real
What this transfer tells us more than anything else is just how intent Real are on acquiring the services of the wonderful De Gea, who was by far the best goalkeeper in the Premier League last season.
His heroic performances helped a poor United side out of many difficult situations and some of his saves were breathtakingly incredible.
As a result it would then seem that the changing of the guard is inevitable at the Bernabeu. Casillas, who is the current Spain captain, it seems will be handing the number one spot over to his younger model and with the attributes De Gea has, it would not be far off saying that he has all the credentials necessary to become captain of the national side in time.
Changing of the guard
For now however, it seems Real fans must bid farewell to one of, if not the greatest goalkeeper to play the game.
It will be a strange sight not seeing the number one jersey with Casillas on the back for Bernabeu fans, but they'll be safe in the knowledge that they have found a tailor-made successor for the future.
Real fans, is it right that Casillas is leaving this summer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.