Football: Spanish giants Real Madrid pick Espanyol's Casilla to replace Casillas

Madrid captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas reads a statement at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain on July 12, 2015.
Madrid captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas reads a statement at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain on July 12, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

MADRID (AFP) - Real Madrid moved to sign a replacement for departed captain Iker Casillas on Friday, agreeing a deal to buy Kiko Casilla from Espanyol for a reported €6 million (S$8.9 million).

In a statement on their official website, Real said the 28-year-old would sign a five-year deal once he had passed a medical at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Casilla was on Real's books as a youngster before moving to Espanyol in 2007.

With a surname confusingly similar to that of the departing hero, Casilla was playing in the second division just four years ago.

However, he is now on the fringes of the national team and made his Spain debut last November, replacing Casillas during a 1-0 friendly defeat by Germany.

He will compete for the Real goalkeeper's position with Costa Rica's Keylor Navas, under former Liverpool and Napoli coach Rafael Benitez, who has taken the helm at Real ahead of the new season.