Southampton are willing to pay the £8 million fee Alaves want for goalkeeper Fernando Pacheco with Leeds United also keen on the La Liga ace, as reported by El Gol Digital.
Is the Kiko Casilla era over at Elland Road?
When the former Real Madrid stopper was left out of the squad for Monday’s 2-0 defeat at West Ham, replaced on the bench by youngster Elia Caprile, it was assumed injury was the reason.
But while Marcelo Bielsa isn’t one to give too much away, he did issue an intriguing response when asked about the 34-year-old’s omission.
“It was a decision I made to include Caprile on the bench. Casilla is not injured,” Bielsa told Leeds Live.
Keeping one of Leeds’ highest earners, on about £32,000 a week according to Spotrac, beyond this season makes little sense, especially with Illan Meslier firmly established as Bielsa’s number one.
And, according to reports in Spain, Leeds have identified a ready-made replacement for a veteran shot-stopper who has made just one Premier League appearance this season.
Pacheco, another experienced former Real Madrid keeper, is expected to leave relegation-threatened Alaves this summer.
His £8 million price tag is apparently no issue for Southampton, although it remains to be seen whether Leeds are willing to pay such a sum for a 28-year-old who would presumably take Casilla’s place on the Elland Road bench.
Pachecho has made 200 league appearances in six years at Alaves, establishing himself as one of the most reliable glovesmen in La Liga.
In October he produced one of the most impressive goalkeeping performances of the entire La Liga campaign, keeping Lionel Messi off the scoresheet during a 1-1 draw with Barcelona.