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SPECIAL REPORT: The Spain captain was ultimately talked out of a transfer by his former team-mate, now returned to the club, but the future of Diego Lopez is far from certain

Iker Casillas has been convinced to prolong his Real Madrid career after conversations with former team-mate Fernando Hierro.

The 33-year-old's future at the club has been shrouded in doubt this summer, with question marks remaining over whether Diego Lopez or new signing Keylor Navas could displace the veteran from Carlo Ancelotti's plans completely.

However, Goal understands that Casillas has been encouraged to continue his 15-year association with the senior side at Santiago Bernabeu after talks with former Madrid and Spain central defender Hierro.

Dropped by former boss Jose Mourinho in favour of Antonio Adan in a Liga clash with Malaga in December 2012, Casillas became second choice behind Diego Lopez for the remainder of the campaign and was restricted to Copa del Rey and Champions League performances under Carlo Ancelotti last season.

The Spain captain, who endured a torrid time at the World Cup, became despondent at Santiago Bernabeu as his struggled to regain his spot as undisputed No.1, even despite helping Madrid to their historic 10th Champions League title.

With Lopez maintaining his form throughout the Liga campaign last term, Casillas had been forced to consider his future even before the arrival of Navas from Levante, despite Ancelotti's public defence of the player and his assurance that he will play in the Uefa Super Cup against Sevilla.

The return of Hierro to the club, as assistant to Ancelotti, has served to change his mind. Though the players had their differences earlier in Casillas' career - the keeper blamed both Hierro and coach Vicente del Bosque for ensuring he be dropped for the Champions League final in 2002 - his time with the national team helped to repair and strengthen their relationship, and it is after a series of discussions with the 46-year-old that Casillas has commited to staying at the club.

Diego Lopez's future, meanwhile, is far from certain, as Goal understands he is ready to leave the club after slipping beneath both Casillas and Navas in the pecking order, despite a number of Madrid supporters firmly backing the player to continue as No.1 and Ancelotti's insistence he remains valued within the set-up.

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