Spanish football expert confirms Real Madrid interest in key Chelsea star, double swoop still possible

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Chelsea could come under significant pressure this summer to keep their best players as Real Madrid reportedly want Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois.

Speculation has long linked the pair with a move to the Spanish capital, and it appears as though it’s gaining more pace as we edge closer to the summer.

According to Guillem Balague, what is clear at this stage is that Madrid want to replace Keylor Navas, and if they can’t acquire Manchester United shot-stopper David De Gea, then the focus will switch to Courtois.

“The first preference is David De Gea, but Jose Mourinho has sent a message to Real that he doesn’t want to sell his goalkeeper, so that’s where we stand at the moment. Thibaut Courtois seems more likely but they don’t have an agreement with either player just yet,” he told Sky Sports in his weekly column.

“One thing we do know is that Florentino Perez doesn’t want Keylor Navas to be the No 1 next season.”

Having spent a successful stint in Spain previously with Atletico Madrid, the Belgian international could welcome a return to the city after he has helped Chelsea reclaim the Premier League title.

To counter-argue that, he may well decide that he wants to stay at Stamford Bridge and help Antonio Conte’s side defend their league crown and go again in the Champions League. It’s all ifs and buts currently, but from Balague’s perspective, Madrid will be buying a goalkeeper this summer and Courtois seems the more likely option albeit with no agreement in place.

Meanwhile, he also noted that there is interest from the La Liga leaders in Hazard, but again it promises to be a very tricky negotiation. The 26-year-old has been pivotal again for Chelsea this season as his form has been crucial in getting them back on track, and so the club will be desperate to keep hold of him.

“They are interested in Hazard. He has left it open and is not saying no to Real Madrid, but has suggested to Chelsea that he wants to stay. Chelsea also have no intention of selling him, and are convinced he’ll stay. They think he’s enjoying life in London with his family and that he’s very settled.”

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