Real Madrid are trying to convince Thibaut Courtois to stall over penning his new £200,000-a-week deal at Chelsea.
That is according to the Telegraph, who understand that Los Blancos are attempting to hijack the Blues' desire to retain their number one goalkeeper at all costs.
Chelsea remain confident that Courtois will sign on the dotted line and finally put an end to all speculation regarding a potential switch to Santiago Bernabeu.
However, Real are pushing hard to convince the Belgium international to hold off signing his contract until April as they also continue to try and poach David De Gea away from Manchester United.
The two world-class shot stoppers have long been part of Real's shortlist of targets and the reigning La Liga champions just can't seem to make their mind up about which star they want.
In any event, Real want to keep their options open in case they can't persuade De Gea to leave Old Trafford and, as part of that, they are refusing to close the door on Courtois moving to Spain instead.
What about selling him now and buying that Oblak lad ?— 💙 (@carefree977) February 22, 2018
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United will, however activate a contract extension clause in De Gea's current deal to tie him down to the club until June 2022 - a decision which will likely lead Real to pursue Courtois hard.
The 25-year-old's family still reside in the Spanish capital after his three-year loan spell with city rivals Atletico and he refused to rule out a possible transfer to Real after Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday.
De Gea, Courtois, Oblak and Ter Stegen.— Nico Cantor (@Nicocantor1) February 21, 2018
World's best. No doubt about it.
That will offer Real hope in their chase of him, although the Premier League champions still believe he will pen his improved contract to remain at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea will hope that they will have met all of Courtois' latest demands to retain his services but, after already handing him a starting berth ahead of Petr Cech two seasons ago and replacing their goalkeeping coach after Courtois fell out with him, will grow tired of his requests if he continues to stall on his new deal.
Courtois and De Gea will face off against one another as Chelsea and United lock horns this weekend, and it wouldn't be surprising to see Real send scouts to watch the duo in action as they keep tabs on them.