Atletico Madrid have denied a reported deal between the Spanish club and Bayern Munich for defender Lucas Hernandez.
Spanish daily Marca reported on Wednesday that Hernandez will join the German champions for €80 million ($91.4 million) when the winter transfer window opens in January.
“In regard to the information published by Marca over Bayern Munich’s supposed deal with our player Lucas Hernandez …, Atletico Madrid wants to state that in conversation with the club, [Hernandez] denies the existence of a deal with the German club and also his intention to leave Atletico Madrid,” the La Liga side said in a statement. “On the other hand, the excellent relationship between our club and the German side has caused Bayern Munich themselves to deny the supposed deal this afternoon in a conversation between the two sides.”
Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo also told Spanish outlet Sportyou that: “For the moment, Lucas Hernandez is a player [for Atleti] and he wants to continue with us. Truthfully I am not aware of the German club’s offer … We are creating a team and not selling.”
Marca said that the French World Cup winner — who signed a contract until 2024 with his boyhood club in June — has agreed a four-year deal with the Bundesliga side after being told he is key to their plans as they look to regenerate an ageing squad.
Bayern will pay the full buyout clause stipulated in his contract, Marca reported.
Spanish law says that all players must have a set amount in their contract that allows them to be bought out of the deal, as was the case when Neymar joined Paris Saint-Germain for a world record €222m in 2017 against his then club Barcelona’s wishes.
Hernandez made his debut for Atletico in December 2014 and has gone on to become an important member of Diego Simeone’s team, playing a key role in their Europa League success last season, before cementing a spot in France’s team that won the World Cup in Russia.
Should the deal go through Hernandez would become the second-most expensive defender in history, behind Virgil van Dijk, who joined Liverpool for a fee reported by British media to be £75m ($95m) last January.
Information from Reuters was used in this report.