Iker Casillas to Arsenal: Gunners become bookies' favourites for departing Real keeper

De Gea could join the club in the 'middle of next week'

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The Independent Football

Iker Casillas has decided to leave Real Madrid to allow David De Gea to join the club, according to reports in Spain.

The Manchester United No 1 could join as soon as the "middle of next week" according to TVE, who report that Casillas does not want to cause a problem for the club.

Casillas has played more than 700 games for the club after making his debut way back in 1999. He has won the Champions League three times, as well as five Spanish titles and numerous other cups; he trails only Raul in all-time appearances for the club.

Real Madrid want to give Casillas a fitting exit from the Bernabeu and the report stats that 10 clubs are linked with the Spaniard, who wants to stay in Europe. The club will even 'compensate' Casillas to smooth through the exit.

Arsenal and Liverpool are amongst the bookies' favourites for the goalkeeper, with Turkish side Fenerbahce likely to offer a big sum.David-de-Gea.jpg

Casillas and De Gea were filmed outside Spanish training ignoring each other, but the pair have moved to say they have a good relationship.

It is not yet known how much De Gea would cost, although a fee of around £30million has previously been stated. The 24-year-old, a Madrid native, has already said his goodbyes to his Old Trafford team-mates and told the club's hierarchy he wants to leave.

Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has been linked with a move to replace De Gea.