José Mourinho has claimed that Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is under pressure to be dropped from the Spanish national team by former international shot-stopper Iker Casillas.
The 28-year-old hasn't matched the high standards which he has set in previous years this season, and De Gea's drop in performance levels appear to have stemmed from his high-profile mistake during the World Cup against Portugal.
Following recent pressure on de Gea to be dropped, Mourinho hinted that Casillas' influence in the media has caused this recent movement, as the former Real Madrid goalkeeper looks to fight his way into Luis Enrique's side.
"But why [is there] criticism in Spain? Do you know? I know," Mourinho said, quoted by the Telegraph. "Because there is somebody very powerful that is thinking about jumping [into the Spain team] again, but I think it’s very difficult to jump when you have the best goalkeeper in the world in front of you."
Casillas, who now plays for FC Porto in Portugal, has very little influence within the national team these days, his last appearance coming during an international friendly against South Korea in 2016.
De Gea, Chelsea's Kepa Arrizabalaga and even former Tottenham goalkeeper Pau López are ahead of Casillas in the pecking order for the national team, but it has recently been suggested that the 37-year-old will use his influence in the media - he's married to TV presenter Sara Carbonero - to get another call-up.
Casillas made 167 appearances for La Roja during his 16-year spell battling alongside Víctor Valdés for Spain's number one shirt, conceding roughly one goal every three games during the country's golden era.
De Gea, in comparison, has only made 38 appearances for Spain, but he is conceding almost a goal a game despite the fact he's kept 18 clean sheets for the national team.