Iker Casillas set to leave Real Madrid, join Porto, as path cleared for David de Gea

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After 25 years, Iker Casillas is leaving Real Madrid.

The 34-year-old goalkeeper, who has won every major trophy with his hometown team as well as captaining Spain to  its first-ever World Cup title and two European Championships, has agreed to sign for FC Porto.

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Casillas’ powers have been waning in recent seasons, but he is still widely considered to be in the top 10 goalkeepers on the planet after coming through Real’s academy and making his first team debut at the age of 18. His current deal with Real runs out in 2017.

It is said that perennial UEFA Champions League side Porto have offered him a two-year contract, with the option of a third year, as Casillas is happy to move on from the club he has made 725 appearances for in 16-straight La Liga seasons.

Sponsors of Real Madrid, bwin, tweeted about the deal from its account late on Wednesday and says a press conference will be held on Friday to announce Casillas’ departure. There is still no official word from Casillas or Real.

In the past Casillas has expressed his desire to head to Major League Soccer one day, but it appears a stop-off in Portugal is up next for the Spanish national team legend who has 162 caps for La Furia Roja. 

So, why are Real letting him go? Well, we all know the answer to that. Manchester United’s David de Gea is out of contract next summer and Real have been chasing the Spanish international for some time. De Gea is still just 24 and the man from Madrid was United’s star player last season as he was named in the Premier League Team of the Year.

United fans across the globe will be worries that after Casillas’ departure from Real, the arrival of De Gea at the Santiago Bernabeu is a forgone conclusion. However, the impending exit of Casillas could have a domino effect as United are said to have bid for defender Sergio Ramos and ideally only want to sell De Gea to Real if Ramos goes the other way.