Real Madrid agree Lopez deal

Diego Lopez has played for Real Madrid before. Photo: PA

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 Lopez, a former player at the Bernabeu, following confirmation today that Iker Casillas could be out for up to three months with a hand injury.

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 euros.

Lopez 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."

Madrid had been linked with a host of goalkeepers across Europe after Casillas broke a bone in his left hand during Wednesday's Copa del Rey quarter-final clash with Valencia.

The Spain skipper successfully went under the knife during an hour-long operation in Madrid this afternoon and may now be absent until April.

Doctor Miguel del Cerro, who performed the operation, said in AS: "The operation has gone very well. He will be out for between eight to 12 weeks."

Madrid medical chief Carlos Diez said in a statement on his club's website: "Everything has been phenomenal. Two screws were put in and the hand has been perfect. It has been a complete success from a surgical point of view."

Casillas will now miss the Copa del Rey semi-final double-header against Barcelona, the Champions League last-16 tie with Manchester United and a host of Primera Division matches.

Antonio Adan, who has been controversially picked by coach Jose Mourinho ahead of Casillas in a handful of recent matches, is now set to compete with Lopez for a starting berth at the Bernabeu.