If there’s one man across world football who has been there, done it all and got the t-shirt to show for, that man is almost certainly Spain and Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas.
Currently plying his trade in Portugal for Porto, the 35-year-old goalkeeper has had an illustrious career – mainly for Madrid and his country– that’s seen him win everything possible at the top level.
Since beginning his career in Madrid at 16 years of age, Casillas has won five La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey’s, three Champions League titles and secured both the World Cup and European Championships.
There are very few around that have enjoyed the sublimely successful career that the boy from suburban Madrid has, and it seems like his footballing journey is set to enter one final chapter next season.
After a two-year spell at Porto that endeared him to the Portuguese fans, AS report that messages on his social media suggest that the club aren’t set to activate the clause for another year’s football.
With his contract ending at the end of June – and with no confirmation of Porto’s stance on Casillas as of yet – the door is well and truly open to offers from elsewhere, ahead of a potential free transfer.
According to Sky Bet, a move to the Premier League and to Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side is somewhat surprisingly the odds-on choice at the moment, with a move to Anfield priced at 5/4.
Spanish outlet AS reported a fortnight ago that the Reds were one of the contenders to sign the experienced ‘keeper should he leave, and this is well and truly reflected in the latest odds on offer.
With Champions League football on the horizon again for the Reds after a three-year absence from Europe’s biggest stage, it’s arguable that they need an experienced goalkeeper to help them go far.
In the shape of Casillas there’s really no bigger goalkeeper – perhaps bar Gianluigi Buffon – that has a similar wealth of knowledge of European football, and the addition of Casillas may prove priceless.
Although time is certainly not on his side at 36-years-old, there’s no doubting that Casillas still has the potential to perform at the top level; his agility and tendency to produce the acrobatic in goal is unaltered after all these years, and his instinctive reflexes between the sticks are equally impressive.
Add to this a leadership that he’s built up after over 500 Real Madrid appearances and 167 games for the Spanish national side, and he appears to be the perfect man to discipline Liverpool’s ropey defence.
The addition of Loris Karius has failed to set the Premier League alight after an inconsistent season at best and, although first-choice Simon Mignolet has improved, he’s not the world-class man they need.
Both of the goalkeepers on Liverpool’s books are prone to individual errors and have erratic natures, and with a potential challenge on four fronts next season they are in need a more reliable shot-stopper.
Alternatively, a return home to La Liga at either Espanyol or Valencia is priced at the next best odds of 9/1 and 10/1 respectively but a goalkeeper of his class is unlikely to want his career to end at lowly sides.
Likewise, interest from Premier League sides Bournemouth and Everton have been set at 12/1 and 14/1 but neither are primed to make a move for Casillas, as the Cherries recently re-signed Asmir Begovic and the Telegraph report today that Everton are on the verge of a £30 million swoop for Jordan Pickford.
It seems like Liverpool are the firm front-runners if Porto do in fact opt not to extend his contract to another season, and although the Liverpool Echo reported at the end of last month that boss Klopp has no interest in another goalkeeper this summer, it’ll be tough to say no to a man like Iker Casillas.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Antonio Braza.