Marca is reporting that last week Real Madrid President Florentino Pérez, club CEO José Ángel Sánchez, Iker Casillas and his agent Carlo Cutropía met over breakfast to determine the future of the club captain.
Marca reports the conversation as going like this:
Florentino went straight to the point: “Okey, Iker, down to business – what do you want?” Casillas replied, “I have come to say that I want to stay at Real Madrid, presi,” to which Florentino interrupted, “And I want you to stay and I’m not going to let you go, so that’s settled then”.
The rest of the conversation was based on this mutual desire to carry on as is. Iker didn’t lay down any conditions nor did he ask the club for any immediate commitment, limiting himself to just assuring that he wanted to continue at the club, putting paid to any rumours about his possible leaving. At no moment did Florentino offer starter status or even mention Diego López.
Noticeably absent from that meeting was Carlo Ancelotti, the man who followed Jose Mourinho’s tactics of dropping Casillas for the league games and only playing him in cup competitions.
After 18 months of playing second fiddle to Lopez, I doubt that Casillas will come back to play backup again, especially if he picks up another World Cup winners medal this summer. But Ancelotti obviously saw the same thing on training every day that Mourinho saw, that Lopez is a better fit in the team than Casillas.
In past years Perez would probably have gone to the manager and told them to play Casillas, but Ancelotti is coming of La Décima, which gives him a little more leeway to say no to Perez.
I don’t think this story is going away over the summer. Casillas will miss a significant part of the preseason as he recovers from the World Cup, giving Lopez more time to cement his starting role. If it is clear that Casillas is going to be a back-up again by mid-August I would not be surprised to see Saint Iker put in a transfer request then and force a move away from his beloved club.