Chelsea are facing unexpected uncertainty over the future of Thibaut Courtois, a sensational report in the Evening Standard has claimed.
Courtois has emerged as one of the best goalkeepers in the world at Stamford Bridge this season, but originally made his name during a three-year loan spell with Atletico Madrid.
The Belgium international is happy with life at Stamford Bridge and looks set to have a guaranteed starting spot once Petr Cech departs this summer.
However, he has a longing to play in La Liga once again with a move to either Barcelona or Real Madrid being the dream for Belgium's No.1.
But Barcelona have the 23-year-old Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Real Madrid seem intent on signing Manchester United star David de Gea, 24.
Exploring his options
Should De Gea complete his prospective move to the Bernabeu then that could shut the door on Courtois ever playing for either of La Liga's biggest clubs.
That has forced the Chelsea star into action and he has since told his agent to sound out Real Madrid over the possibility of them making a move this summer.
Courtois is reluctant to force a move from Stamford Bridge but would jump at the chance to move back to the Spanish capital.
Chelsea have already caught wind of the situation and have slapped a £73m (€100m) price tag on Courtois' head.
Jose Mourinho is hopeful the price tag will help to push Real Madrid towards Old Trafford, where De Gea is likely to be available for significantly less.
Courtois has four years left on his current Chelsea contract while De Gea has just 12 months remaining on his.
Luckily for Real Madrid, it seems they have the pick of the two best goalkeepers in world football vying to replace Iker Casillas.
Courtois has been a consistent performer for Chelsea this season, but De Gea has stolen the show with a number of spectacular, match-saving performances for the Red Devils.
De Gea, who is likely to be available for under £30m, would represent better value for money for Rafa Benitez.
Who is the better goalkeeper: David de Gea or Thibaut Courtois?
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