CHELSEA executive Marina Granovskaia has been contacting Real Madrid in a desperate attempt to drive up the price of Thibaut Courtois.
Chelsea know the goalkeeper can walk out of the club for free in 12 months time when his contract expires.
Courtois is keen on moving back to Madrid where his family are based.
He spent three seasons on loan from Chelsea at Atletico Madrid – and could now join their bitter rivals Real.
But Chelsea are holding off approving a sale because they want more money.
The Daily Express report a £31m offer from Real has been turned down by the Premier League giants.
They feel he’s worth lots more, and won’t cash-in for what they feel is a ‘derisively’ low price.
It’s claimed chief executive Granovskaia has frequently been in touch with Blues top brass in a bid to get them to up their offer for Courtois.
But Real may decide to wait for a year to sign the Belgian for nothing, rather than spend big money on him this term.
Chelsea are yet to source a replacement for the player, with top target Alisson joining Liverpool for £65m.
New Blues boss Maurizo Sarri admits he’s not sure if Courtois will stay.
Speaking this afternoon ahead of Sunday’s Community Shield clash against Manchester City at Wembley, he said: “At the moment Courtois is the goalkeeper of Chelsea.
“I don’t know in the future. It depends on the club, it depends especially on him.
“But I hope Courtois will be our goalkeeper.”
Speaking after the World Cup in Russia this summer, Courtois admitted he’ll assess his future at Stamford Bridge.
“In this World Cup, I have ignored all the speculation, all the rumours,” he said.
“But now, in the next few days, I will have a chat with my agent and see what Chelsea told him, and then we will talk.
“I feel happy at Chelsea, it’s not that I necessarily want to leave.”