Real Madrid agree to sign Diego Lopez
Real Madrid have agreed a deal to sign goalkeeper Diego Lopez from Sevilla on a four-and-a-half year contract.
Madrid swooped for the 31-year-old, a former player at the Bernabeu, following confirmation that Iker Casillas could be out for up to three months with a hand injury.
Lopez told EFE that he had always dreamt of a return to Real: "It is a dream to return home," he said. "Today the deal has happened very fast and I am very happy to return to the place I consider my home.
"For a Madridista like myself, to return to Real Madrid is the best thing that could have happened in my career. I am eager to start this great new challenge."
A statement on Real Madrid's website read: "Real Madrid and Sevilla have reached an agreement for the transfer of Diego Lopez, who will join the club until the end of the 2016-17 season.''
Lopez came up through the youth ranks at Madrid and was back-up to first-choice keeper Casillas for a number of seasons while making his Primera Division debut in 2006 against Osasuna.
In 2007 he joined Villarreal and the Galician-born custodian established himself as one of the best keepers in La Liga during his five years at El Madrigal, during which time he was called up to the Spain squad and made his international bow against Macedonia in 2009.
Following Villarreal's relegation to the second division last season, Lopez joined Sevilla for a fee in the region of €3.5million. But he has been in and out of the Sevilla starting line-up this term as he competed with 39-year-old club captain Andres Palop for playing time.
Sevilla also confirmed Lopez's departure to Madrid in a statement on their website, adding: "Sevilla will now be left with Palop and Julian, the youth team goalkeeper of whom there are high hopes.''
Information from the Press Association was used in this report