MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22: Luka Modric of Tottenham Hotspur is challenged by David Silva of Manchester City during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad Stadium on January 22, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
When you look at a transfer rumour, it's always best to consider the source. What gets reported on Marca is going to have a pro Madrid slant; what gets reported on the Daily Mail is designed to be sensationalist about England and nowhere else. We have biases too, of course - this site is pretty unabashedly pro-Chelsea/pro-David Luiz - so bear that in mind as well.
Anyway. Marca are reporting that Real Madrid may lose out on Luka Modric because Chelsea are now taking a keen interest. I'd give this more credibility than normal, because Marca have a slightly higher threshold than usual for running 'bad news for Madrid!' stories. That's not to say that this is credible - I have significant doubts over Chelsea opening up with a €45M bid - but it's more than nothing, and it's nice to hear the Blues being linked to exactly the player type I think we need.
There had been some speculation that part of the proposed Madrid deal with Tottenham Hotspur was the inclusion of former Borussia Dortmund standout Nuri Sahin as makeweight, but with his recent comments about not wanting to leave Madrid, that's looking less likely (said comment also make it more important to actually land Modric, in my opinion). It's not out of the question that Real only have limited funds set aside for any Modric acquisition and are unwilling to throw as much money at him as Chelsea can manage.
But I would say that, wouldn't I?