Bayern Munich have denied an €80 million (£72m/$91m) transfer for Atletico Madrid's Lucas Hernandez has been agreed, though sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has spoken of his admiration for the defender.
Reports in Spain from sports newspaper Marca claimed a deal for France international Lucas that would smash the Bundesliga transfer record was imminent, yet this was strongly refuted by an Atletico club statement on Wednesday.
Responding to the rumours, Atletico president Enrique Cerezo also told Sportyou that Lucas, who has a contract 2024, "wants to continue with us".
However, Bayern's Salihamidzic hinted the 22-year-old could be a target for the Bundesliga champions in the January transfer window.
"I won't comment on speculation," Salihamidzic told reporters after Wednesday's 1-0 win against RB Leipzig.
"We will do something, even though it is always difficult in the winter.
"Hernandez is a very good player who I follow since the World Cup."
Lucas reportedly has a release clause worth €80m in the contract he signed in June and Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge feels this opens the door for a potential move.
The transfer would see him overtake Virgil van Dijk as the world’s most expensive defender.
"I can't deny or confirm anything," added Rummenigge. "You can only confirm something when it is done. And this is not done yet.
"It surely is an advantage that the player can get out of his contract at any time.
"Hasan is very busy at the moment. We will inform Atletico's bosses as soon as there is concrete interest.
"We have a very good relationship and this is a matter of friendship and style."
Lucas, who started all seven games for France in Les Bleus' World Cup triumph at Russia 2018, previously said he rejected the chance to leave Atletico for city rivals Real Madrid.