Real Madrid have dropped a huge hint that they are ready to abandon attempts to sign Manchester United's David de Gea by launching a bid for Espanyol goalkeeper Kiko Casilla.
A report in Goal claims that Los Blancos have opened talks with their La Liga rivals over a deal for the 28-year-old.
Casilla came through the youth system at Real Madrid before eventually leaving for Espanyol in 2007. However, the Bernabeu outfit retain 50 per cent of the goalkeeper's rights.
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That means that they could sign him for just half of his €20 million release clause and it seems they are ready to take advantage of that privilege.
It is a significant development for Manchester United, as they have been busy trying to keep De Gea from moving to the Spanish capital.
De Gea Deal stalling
Having refused to extend his current contract beyond 2016, it seemed inevitable that the 24-year-old would eventually leave Old Trafford.
Unsurprisingly, Real Madrid's negotiating tactics have left Manchester United frustrated, who themselves have demanded no less than £30m for De Gea.
With Manchester United leaving for North America in Monday, it seems his path to Real Madrid is not as clear as it once seemed.
Iker Casillas looks set to leave for Porto, which will open the door for De Gea to take the No.1 shirt. The move for Casilla could be because Manchester United are demanding Real Madrid's current reserve goalkeeper Keylor Navas as part of the deal.
Louis van Gaal has showed an interest in the Costa Rican in the past and attempted to sign him after his impressive showing in last summer's World Cup.
Reports have suggested that the Dutchman would be willing to make Navas his new No.1, making a swap deal with Real Madrid the best option for all parties.
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