Chelsea are 'hopeful' of fending off Real Madrid's growing interest in Thibaut Courtois as contract talks over a new five-year deal continue.
Spanish journalist Guillem Balague had told Sky Sports that the Blues goalkeeper is intrigued about the possibility of strutting his stuff at Santiago Bernabeu from next term onwards.
However Belgian journalist Kristof Terreur and the Daily Mirror have both claimed that Chelsea's negotiations over a new £180,000-a-week deal for Courtois are running smoothly and that he could pen the extension soon.
Courtois' potential new deal would make him the highest-paid goalkeeper in the world and help to keep him out of the clutches of long-term suitors Real.
Real have supposedly contacted Courtois' representatives after they reignited their long-standing interest in the shot stopper ahead of the January window, and have been given a positive response by the 25-year-old's agent.
Los Blancos reportedly want to overhaul their goalkeeping options in the close season, with Zinedine Zidane informed that he will work with two new keepers ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.
One of those is believed to be Courtois who had been rumoured to instead find himself heading back to Spain's capital.
Courtois' girlfiend and children still reside in Madrid following his two-year loan spell at Real's city rivals Atletico three seasons ago and it is his supposed desire to be reunited with them on a daily basis that may yet sway the Belgium international into upping sticks from west London.
Thibaut Courtois— Lav (@LavCFC) December 21, 2017
Elite core of players to build around. If the club actually showed some ambition, we could truly become a powerhouse in football.
Chelsea have a contingency plan in place for Courtois if he departs with Antonio Conte drawing up a shortlist of potential replacements for his star.
Courtois has kept the joint-highest amount of clean sheets in the Premier League so far this season, with 10 recorded from 20 matches to help Antonio Conte's men into third position in the standings.
Conte's supposed replacements for Courtois would see him move for either Atleti star Jan Oblak or Sevilla's Sergio Rico to install as his new senior keeper between the sticks.
Real are also thought to retain interest in Athletic Bilbao contract rebel Kepa Arrizabalaga, with the 23-year-old expected to complete a switch across Spain soon too.