Thibaut Courtois is said to have put record-breaking offers from both the Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain on hold as the Belgium international still hopes to complete his "desired" move to Real Madrid during the summer transfer window.
The La Liga giants were poised to sign Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Club Bilbao this month to bolster their goalkeeping options but on Monday [22 January] the Spain international decided to turn down that possibility by signing a new deal at San Mames until 2025.
AS claims that Real learned about Kepa's decision days ago and have therefore "doubled their efforts" to lure Courtois away from Chelsea ahead of the coming 2018-2019 campaign.
The Spanish publication adds that Los Blancos will face stiff competition to secure his services with PSG also interested in his signing with the Blues trying to tie him to a new long-term deal.
However, the report, written by Spanish football expert Guillem Balague, says that Courtois already has two formal offers on the table from both PSG and Chelsea while Real have so far only made an informal approach to sound out his availability.
The Blues and the free-spending Ligue 1 leaders would be ready to make Courtois the best-paid goalkeeper in the world but AS believes that Real may still have an advantage due to the player's desire to move to the Santiago Bernabeu.
The goalkeeper spent three seasons on loan at Atletico Madrid before becoming Chelsea's number one and has publicly admitted that he would like to return to La Liga at some point in his career as his two young children still live in the Spanish capital.
Balague claims that Courtois "hopes to sort out the situation as early as this month" so he can be focused on helping Chelsea to fight for trophies in the season run-in.
Last month, The Telegraph reported that Chelsea had offered Courtois a deal worth more than the £200,000-a-week David De Gea is paid by Manchester United which makes him the best-paid goalkeeper in the world.
Only days later, Courtois suggested that he was ready to accept that offer amid reports in Spain claiming that his desired move to Real was over as Los Blancos were ready to sign Kepa instead.
"It has just turned the New Year, so we will wait a few weeks and then sit around the table," Courtois said after the 2-2 draw against Arsenal earlier this month. "I am happy at Chelsea and a deal is close. Has it been a distraction? Not for me. I am just calm and relaxed because I am tied to Chelsea. Despite the rumours and everything, I am focused on Chelsea and I am happy here."
But after Kepa signed a new deal at Athletic, AS now claims that the Belgian is yet to respond to that offer and to another even more lucrative from PSG in order to wait and see if Real Madrid step up their current interest and make a formal bid to sign him.
One way or another, it looks like the La Liga giants will surely sign a new number one in the summer to replace Keylor Navas as the Spanish publication adds that they are also monitoring the situation of De Gea, Atletico's Jan Oblak and AC Milan's Gianluigi Donnarumma.