Victor Orta has told LeedsLive that Kiko Casilla could be staying at Elland Road this season.
Football Insider had reported that the club was looking for a buyer for the Spaniard, who hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations since signing from Real Madrid in January.
He is the club’s highest earner and despite only being at Leeds for a matter of months the club is open to offers, and are reportedly seeking a £4m deal for the goalkeeper.
However, they have been dealt a blow in that aim as Casilla prefers to stay at Leeds rather than move back to Spain, where he risks ending up on the bench like he was at Real Madrid.
“I can say Kiko Casilla prefers to stay in Leeds United than the first division in Spain. And, again, for me, I feel really proud,” Orta told Leeds Live.
Casilla became a first-team player at Leeds straight after signing, despite the form of Bailey Peacock-Farrell. He is now 32 and will be eager to play as much as possible, and after settling into the club he feels it is the right club for him.
There has been significant change at Leeds over the summer, and they have already lost a key part of their defence in Pontus Jansson, so it is important to retain players like Casilla, despite the profit which could have been made.
Despite Leeds’ slight drop in form after his arrival he has performed well. He only conceded 18 goals in 17 games last season and his experience should prove vital over the course of the season, and the fact he really wants to be at the club is another positive.
Leeds may have wanted to cash in and bring in a replacement with more Championship experience – like Karl Darlow – but Casilla should prove his worth over the course of the season.