The story goes that last August during a meeting with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, Iker Casillas expressed his desire to leave the Bernabeu by the end of the season.
The two men supposedly didn’t meet again until the end of May, and Spanish publication Marca, per Football Espana, claim to have been privy to the conversation which occurred between Casillas and Perez when they reconvened:
“Well, you tell me, Iker, what do you want?” Perez asked the captain.
“I have come to tell you I want to stay at Real Madrid,” came Casillas’ reply.
“And I want you to stay and I will not let you go, so the issue is settled,” was Perez’s response.
And so it looks as if the man they call "San Iker" will be hanging around in Madrid after all.
Perhaps it was La Decima that changed his mind? Perhaps it was the fact that the two competitions he played in—the Copa del Rey and the Champions League—saw Madrid finish with trophies?
Or perhaps Carlo Ancelotti has confided in the Spanish international that he will regain the No. 1 spot on a full-time basis next season?
Diego Lopez, bar two games towards the end of the season, filled Los Blancos’ goal in La Liga throughout the past season, with Casillas largely handed a watching brief.
It’s worked out quite well, at least on the face of it, and the public furore that surrounded Jose Mourinho’s decision to bench Casillas during the Portuguese's last season at the club has not been prevalent during the Ancelotti era.
But can a club continue to operate a rotating goalkeeper policy?
In the modern day, there has to be a certain degree of tinkering to make sure squads are kept fresh. However, this notion doesn’t really translate to 'keepers—with most clubs preferring to have just one man guarding their net.
You would imagine that Casillas, with all his experience and status in the game, would not be prepared to merely take a role as Real Madrid’s cup goalkeeper again next season. Therefore, could Lopez’s future at Real be on the line?
The former Villarreal stopper arrived back in the Spanish capital from Sevilla in January 2013 and has been a near ever-present in the Primera Division ever since.
He doesn’t see any reason why he should leave the club, either, telling Vanity Fair, per Marca, in May:
I arrived a year and a half ago and I have three more years on my contract. Things are going well for me; there's no reason to leave. I want to continue winning at Real Madrid. I hope that I can finish my career here.
Should Madrid keep both keepers?
That hasn’t stopped the rumours, though. His agent has been forced to play down a move to Italian side Napoli, telling Tuttonapoli, per Sky Sports, that the rumours are “baseless” and his client has “no intention of leaving [Madrid].”
If Ancelotti has other ideas, Lopez my leave in search of regular first-team football.
However, the Italian is entitled to believe that—after a year of successful rotation, where Lopez featured in 37 matches and Casillas in 24—he can continue to keep both of his goalkeepers happy.
Although most players are almost always available for the right price.