Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu insists he did not claim that he wanted to sign for Chelsea this summer, contrary to reports.
The 22-year-old was quoted by Turkish media outlet Fanatik on Saturday as saying he “hopes to be a Chelsea player next season” but that “there are also a number of other clubs interested in signing me”.
However, Calhanoglu has denied ever saying he'd be keen to join the Stamford Bridge club when the transfer window re-opens in July or discussing other matters with the press in the past few days.
“I said nothing about Chelsea in the press & didn't talk to any Turkish journalist,” he tweeted, “neither about the court decision nor about my future!”
I said nothing about Chelsea in the press & didn't talk to any Turkish journalist - neither about the court decision nor about my future! — Hakan Çalhanoğlu (@hakanc10) February 6, 2017
Last week Calhanoglu was banned for four months from playing for Leverkusen after the Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld FIFA's decision punishment for breaching a past contract.
Calhanoglu agreed a move to Trabzonspor in 2011 but ended up extending his contract at German team Karlsruher instead, and the aggrieved Turkish club successfully won their case for €100,000 in compensation.
The attacking midfielder left Karlsruher in 2013 for Hamburg, where he starred for a season before joining Leverkusen for an estimated €14.5 million.
He has made 22 appearances and scored seven goals for the Bundesliga club this campaign, but will watch from the sidelines for the remainder of 2016-17 due to his FIFA-instigated suspension.