Real Madrid have announced the signing of Sevilla goalkeeper Diego Lopez to cover the loss of Iker Casillas, who will be out of action for almost three months after breaking a bone in his left hand.
Lopez, who is a product of the Real Madrid youth system, returns to the club for 4.5 million euros (around $6 million), completing a round trip which has taken him to Villarreal and Sevilla, reports Xinhua.
The 31-year-old played for the Real Madrid C and B teams before being promoted to the A team as substitute to Casillas but left the club in 2007.
He left Villarreal after five seasons following the club's relegation to the second division at the end of last season but his move to Sevilla was not successful given that he made only eight league starts and lost his place in the side to veteran Andres Palop.
One reason for Madrid's decision to sign a keeper is that although Casillas underwent a successful operation on the hand he broke in a Copa del Rey match on Wednesday, his recovery time has been extended from two to three months, meaning he will not be available again until the end of April. He will miss the club's Copa del Rey semifinal against FC Barcelona, the last 16 Champions League tie against Manchester United and around 12 La Liga matches.
Given the length of Casillas' absence, the club decided to bring in an experienced player to compete for a first team spot with Antonio Adan, who has only a handful of appearances to his name.
Lopez could make what will be his third league appearance for Madrid at home to Getafe on Sunday and it will be interesting to see if coach Jose Mourinho puts his faith in his new signing or in Adan, a keeper who he picked ahead of Casillas in two matches earlier this month, arguing he was in better condition than the now injured Spain international.