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Leeds confirm Casilla coup
Thursday, 17th Jan 2019 11:03 by @LucasMonk_

Real Madrid's Kiko Casilla has swapped the Bernabeu for Elland Road in United's first January swoop...

Real Madrid goalkeeper Kiko Casilla has today joined Leeds United on a free transfer. It is a major coup for United and head coach Marcelo Bielsa.

The thrice Champions League winner has signed a four-and-a-half year contract with the Championship leaders.

United have negotiated a deal with Real to take on the last 18 months of the 32-year-old's contract with the Spanish giants, hence the absence of a transfer fee.

Casilla, who was in his second stint with Los Blancos, had fallen out of favour in Madrid this season.

The club deemed him surplus to requirements after they captured Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea in the summer.

He has, ostensibly, moved to Elland Road in search of regular first-team football.

And he will bring considerable experience to Leeds, having made over 130 appearances in La Liga across seven years at Espanyol before rejoining Real in July 2015, for whom he played a further 43 matches.

Many observers had identified the need for United to bolster their goalkeeping options, and this eye-catching signing does precisely that.

Casilla will now rival Bailey Peacock-Farrell for the goalkeeping jersey, and could make his debut away to Stoke City on Saturday afternoon.

With considerable experience, professionalism and ample skill with the ball at his feet, he could prove one of Leeds's most astute additions in a great many years.

This may not be United's only foray into the market this month. A flurry of reports has linked them with potential moves for Swansea City winger Daniel James and Bristol City wide-man Callum O'Dowda.

Photo: Action Images

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