For the first time, Real Madrid stopper Iker Casillas has intimated to friends that he could in fact leave Real Madrid this winter. The Spanish captain has been out of the first-team all season - with Carlo Ancelotti preferring to play Diego Lopez ahead of the Madrid stalwart.
Despite rumours of him reportedly telling Pepe Reina he would not be leaving surfacing just last weekend, Casillas himself has now admitted he could leave the club he has represented for the past 23 years:
"If the situation doesn't change within three months, I'd say that I'll be looking to leave. I have been here since I was a small boy but the day will come when maybe a decision will have to be made. In September I wanted to leave and I was going to tell the president that I wanted to go, but I decided to be a part of this squad and this club for a lot longer.’’
Casillas has a World Cup to consider, and will want to be fresh as Los Rojos attempt to defend their title so a move away makes sense.
But I do not for one minute think he would want to be sold permanently, or that Los Merengues would want to sell him either.
So perhaps a loan deal could be on the cards, but where?
Here are five possible destinations:
There have been question marks over the form of Joe Hart this season, with the England international making the odd blunder here and there.
It follows on from what was an indifferent season for him in 2012-13 … so there is no doubt that the arrival of Casillas would be a threat for England number one Hart.
He has worked under Manuel Pellegrini before, so could be tempted.
But Pellegrini has leant his support to Hart previously.
Monaco recently handed a new contract to keeper Danijel Subasic, but he is expected to be replaced as the clubs number one by Victor Valdes next season.
The opportunity to bring in a world-class stop gap seems like an option right up Monaco’s street.
The Spanish outfit are reportedly worried about goalkeeper Willy Caballero making an escape this summer, and another of Casillas’ former bosses Bernd Schuster is currently at the club as manager.
Malaga may be out of cash, but with Real supplementing a deal, it would be an efficient move for the stopper.
The Gunners have been linked with a move for the player, in order for them to have an experienced goalkeeper in their midst.
However, this was before Wojciech Szczesny hit top form, so it would be a surprising move.
The Milan club need a goalkeeper in all honesty, as their current contingent is ageing.
Casillas would be the perfect arrival, and along with Keisuke Honda and Adil Rami, excellent winter business from the Rossoneri.
Here is my wildcard option.
He could link up with former manager Vanderlei Luxemburgo at Fluminense. He would therefore get six months experience playing in Brazil before the World Cup starts.
Unlikely, but probably not a bad idea.
image: © jansolo09