CHELSEA have been handed a major boost in the race for Christian Eriksen after Real Madrid pulled out of a deal, according to reports.
The Dane’s future at Tottenham is in doubt with just 18 months left on his contract.
Spurs are desperate to keep hold of their key asset but have made no progress in talks to extend his current deal.
That has attracted interest from clubs across Europe including Premier League champions Manchester City.
Real Madrid were believed to be the front runners for his signature with the Bernabeu Eriksen’s preferred option.
But according to Spanish publication AS, Real will not be putting in a bid this summer because they eye Dani Ceballos as a long-term successor in an attacking midfield role.
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It leaves the two Premier League sides in the clear to go toe-to-toe for his signature.
The news could also mean that Real instead will step up their pursuit of Chelsea’s Eden Hazard.
He has been on their transfer shortlist for months and the Belgium further fuelled speculation that a move to La Liga by admitting he’s decided his future.
Speaking to French radio station RMC, Hazard said: “I know what I am going to do. I have made a decision.”
The scheduled arrival of Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund for £57million in the summer and retention of Callum Hudson-Odoi suggests the club are preparing for life after the Belgian.