Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels has rubbished rumours that a big money move to Barcelona is around the corner.
The 24-year-old returned from domestic suspension to play in Dortmund’s 2-1 away win at Arsenal in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Of speculation about a switch to the Nou Camp, Hummels said: “There’s nothing to it, there’s just banter. This happens again and again with other players.
“Today I read [Ilkay] Gundogan and [Thomas] Muller were in Barcelona last week and went to eat there, something just happens and then they are linked.
“Some people who think they have a connection to Barcelona report it. Sometimes they go to the press.
“We had this before in April and then three days later in the newspapers. Dortmund knows nothing about this.”
These sentiments were echoed by Dortmund general director Hans-Joachim Watzke.
“As far as Hummels is concerned, there’s nothing going on,” he told AS. “There is absolutely nothing in the rumours.
“I am not worried in the slightest about the winter transfer window because a player who is out of contract can leave but a player who is under contract cannot.
“We have lost players in the past, which has been normal for Dortmund, but we are determined to ensure that we won’t lose a key player every season.”
Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp, speaking to Marca added: “In football rumours are normal; that does not bother me. If they surround players in our team then that is a positive sign.
“The problem lies elsewhere. Surely Hummels is popular on many computers, but to diffuse it until we have a price, yes that bothers me.”
Suggestions that Dortmund have slapped a €35 million price tag on Hummels, capped 26 times by Germany, have been denied.
Hummels has also been linked with Premier League champions Manchester United as David Moyes wants a defender to replace ageing pair Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.