Atletico denies Bayern wants defender Lucas Hernandez

              FILE - In this file photo dated Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, Atletico Madrid's Lucas Hernandez during a media conference at Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Spain. Atletico Madrid has said in a statement Thursday Dec. 20, 2018, that a rumours in the Spanish media linking France defender Lucas Hernandez to a move to Bayern Munich are false. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, FILE)

MADRID (AP) — Speculation linking defender Lucas Hernandez with a move to Bayern Munich is false, Atletico Madrid said Thursday.

Atletico said the France defender “denies the existence of an agreement with the German club” and his supposed “intention of leaving Atletico Madrid.”

Atletico also said it had spoken with Bayern and the German club “denied the alleged operation.”

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge did little to quell the speculation after his team’s 1-0 win over Leipzig on Wednesday.

“I can neither confirm nor deny anything. You can only confirm something when it’s settled. And it’s not settled yet,” Rummenigge said.

Spanish sports daily Marca reported that Bayern is prepared to pay the 80 million euro ($91.7 million) buyout clause to free Hernandez from his contract.

The 22-year-old Hernandez helped France win the World Cup in July.