Victor Orta is convincing goalkeeper Kiko Casilla he still has a big role to play at Leeds United when the season resumes, Football Insider understands.
With the club’s blessing, Casilla, 33, has spent time in his native Spain since being hit with an eight-match racism ban at the start of last month.
A Leeds source has told Football Insider that the keeper’s future at Elland Road beyond this season is in considerable doubt and he is said to be thinking about a transfer back to his homeland.
He fears his reputation in England has taken an irreparable hit despite United standing by him and offering full support.
Director of football Orta has been in constant contact with his fellow Spaniard to make clear he has a big role to play when the team’s Championship campaign restarts.
Orta has stated publicly how Casilla helped smooth Illan Meslier’s introduction into the first team before football’s suspension in the second week of March.
The number one won’t be available for Leeds’ six Championship matches following the restart as he completes his own personal suspension.
The EFL and the Premier League are planning to resume action in the second or third week of June, which would mean a return to full training in mid-May.
For Casilla, it is almost certain he won’t play for Leeds again until mid-July.
Nevertheless, the senior goalkeeper, who is believed to be on a deal worth £40,000-a-week, will be expected, like his teammates, to be present when full training resumes.
The new sketched-out plan for the Premier League, which is likely to be followed by the EFL, is for a pre-season of around three weeks to get them in top shape for the resumption of the campaign.
In other Leeds United news, a blockbuster club deal is on hold even though the contract has been ‘signed’.