Real Madrid fear Chelsea will make Thibaut Courtois a lucrative new contract offer in a bid to kill their hopes of signing the goalkeeper next summer.
Courtois has re-emerged as a target for Real after the Spanish club had their ban on signing players cut, allowing them to trade in the 2017 summer window. But Real are aware that Chelsea plan to open talks over a new deal with Courtois in the New Year, with the Belgian prepared to consider extending his commitment to the Blues.
Courtois has reproduced his best form this season, keeping 10 clean sheets in Chelsea's 12-game winning run, and, like most of the squad, is much happier with life at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea backed Courtois this summer by changing the role of former goalkeeping coach Christophe Lollichon and bringing in Antonio Conte's coach Gianluca Spinelli in a move that has helped the 24-year-old.
Courtois currently earns around £100,000-a-week, but Real are concerned that a new contract offer in excess of £150,000-a-week will see the player remain at Chelsea past this season. Chelsea put a £73 million valuation on Courtois when Real last enquired about him in the summer of 2015 and would demand even more for him if the Spaniards come calling again next summer.
Chelsea face a home clash with Stoke tomorrow before Wednesday's visit to Tottenham.