Phil Hay has revealed Kiko Casilla will return to training with Leeds United next week, but there’s no guarantee his long-term future is at Elland Road, with a decision to come on the goalkeeper’s future in the summer.
Leeds sit top of the Championship table and over the course of the season so far, have been in top-two contention throughout.
Casilla featured in 35 games for the Whites, but a racism charge had been lingering over him since September. In late February, he was hit with an eight-game suspension and put a serious mark against his name.
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Illan Meslier has stepped into the side over the course of the last two fixtures and done well, with Casilla still having six games to sit out due to his ban.
Hay has revealed that on the back of his suspension, Casilla headed back to Spain, but the 33-year-old is now back in England and ready to return to training, even if there’s significant doubt around his future.
Writing in his Q&A with The Athletic, Hay stated: “Casilla spent time back in Spain after his racism ban was imposed (the club allowed him to return and see his family) but he’s in England now and will train like everyone else. In terms of this season, he’s still in the picture but he has six games of his suspension to serve and Meslier has the gloves so Casilla’s prospects of playing look fairly meagre.
“Beyond this season, neither he nor the club know exactly how this will play out. The past few months have done a lot of damage to Casilla’s reputation and whether you think the guilty verdict was right or wrong, this is a very difficult environment for him to live and play in.
“A decision on whether he stays or goes will come when the transfer window opens.”
Meslier kept two clean sheets on the back of Casilla’s ban, helping Leeds to victories over Hull City and Huddersfield Town.
Those two wins helped Leeds back to the top of the Championship table and opened up a seven-point lead over Fulham in the automatic promotion race.
In truth, it is hard to see Casilla playing another game for Leeds United Football Club.
The charge against him is controversial and the sensible thing for Leeds to do in the eyes of many would be to cut ties with the player.
Meslier has done well and looks the better long-term prospect at Elland Road, which might make pushing Casilla out of the door that little bit easier.
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