Newcastle Transfers: Benitez Closing In On Real Madrid Goalkeeper

Rafa's Premier League assault begins to take shape.

Kiko casilla

Real Madrid's Kiko Casilla is on the verge of completing a transfer to Newcastle, according to Spanish media (via Teamtalk).

The goalkeeper has been the under-study to Keylor Navas since re-joining the Galacticos in summer 2015 following a spell at Espanyol. He originally began his career at the Bernebeu before departing its "B" side in search of regular football in 2007.

And Rafael Benitez appears to have earmarked the 30-year-old as the man to keep goal in Newcastle's first season back in the top flight.

The ex-Liverpool boss struggled to settle on an appointed number one last season, handing the bulk of the starts to Karl Darlow after Belgian Matz Sels - a £6.5m signing from Anderlecht the previous summer - failed to settle on Tyneside.

Meanwhile, Tim Krul, who wore the goalkeeper jersey for most of the club's last spell in the top flight, endured a difficult time on loan at Ajax and AZ in the Netherlands.

The Magpies begin their pre-season campaign next week when they travel to Hearts for a friendly, with Christian Atsu and Florian Lejeune so far the only senior additions to Benitez's Championship-winning side.