Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has warned losing Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard will undermine the club's ambitions of competing for the biggest honours in football.
Hazard's father Thierry was quoted as saying on Friday his son had rejected an offer of a new deal from the Blues in order to increase his chances of joining Real Madrid. Los Blancos and Zinedine Zidane are long-term admirers of the Belgium international, whose current contract ties him to Stamford Bridge until 2020.
Courtois meanwhile has insisted he is in no rush to enter talks with the Premier League champions over an extension and will prefer to wait until the end of the season - when he will be on the brink of entering the final 12 months of his current deal.
Addressing the pair's futures at a press conference ahead of Chelsea's Premier League clash against Stoke City on Saturday, Conte said: "You are talking about two important players for us. It will be very important to continue with these type of players, especially for your ambition and if you are trying to compete for something important. It is important to strengthen your team and not to sell your best players."
Conte however was giving little away when asked about the ongoing negotiations between Hazard and the club. "My answer is always the same. This is private conversation between the club, player and agent. The same speech is for Eden. I'm proud to have Eden in my team and squad. I'm very happy to work with him. He's a really good guy. He's got space for improvement to become one of the best in the world. This issue is a private conversation between the player, agent and club."
The former Juventus boss reiterated that stance when asked for an update on talks with Courtois, underlining his intention to hold onto the shot stopper.
"For sure if you ask me, I hope for Courtois to stay. We are talking about a fantastic goalkeeper and a really good guy. I am very happy to work with him."