Eden Hazard has reportedly rejected an extension to his Chelsea contract to keep his options open over a possible transfer to Real Madrid.
The Belgium international's father Thierry was quoted by Belgian news publication Le Soir as he explained why the forward had opted not to put pen to paper on fresh terms just yet.
Hazard has been chased by Real for the past year and has been tipped to head to Santiago Bernabeu at some point in the near future.
Speaking about his son's contractual situation at Stamford Bridge, Thierry Hazard revealed that the 26-year-old had foregone signing a new deal for the time being, but placated any potential Chelsea fan anger by stating that Real had not yet been in contact either.
He said: "Eden hasn't yet renewed his contract with Chelsea because he wants to be available in case there's any potential interest from Real Madrid.
Real or Chelsea? Eden Hazard keeps all options open. He’s currently waiting to extend his Chelsea contract in case Real Madrid are showing interest next summer. “He has rejected a contract offer”, confirms father Thierry in Le Soir. “But there’s no contact with Real.” #cfc pic.twitter.com/Re2itUmeZK— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) December 29, 2017
Reports earlier in December had suggested that Hazard had himself approached Real over concerns that the reigning La Liga champions would not offer him the chance to make a "dream" move to Spain's capital.
Those claims came in the wake of comments made by the ex-Lyon star back in November when he told Canal+ that he had 'great admiration' for Zinedine Zidane's club.
It's not unduly surprising to see Hazard hold off on signing his new deal at Chelsea when you consider that any player would be mad to turn down the advances of the world's biggest clubs. However, Hazard and his camp have also been clever in trying not to turn Chelsea's fanbase against him by leaving the door slightly ajar on him remaining in west London.
This piece of speculation comes hot off the heels of Real's apparent interest in fellow Chelsea star Thibaut Courtois on Friday, with the goalkeeper also high on the Spanish giants' list of transfer targets.