Atletico Madrid will not allow Lucas Hernandez to leave in January, says the club’s executive director Miguel Angel Gil Marin, but a summer switch to Bayern Munich is not being ruled out.
The France international has been heavily linked with a move to Germany over recent weeks.
Atletico have already sought to distance their World Cup winner from those reports, with president Enrique Cerezo claiming: “He wants to stay with us.”
That stance has now been reiterated ahead of the winter window.
Gil Marin told Goal and Spox of the mounting rumours: “The player cannot leave Atletico Madrid in this winter transfer window.
“We have a good relationship with Bayern and will meet with them in January to evaluate the situation.
“If the player wants to leave we will talk about it - but only about a transfer in July.”
Bundesliga champions Bayern will be pleased to hear that a deal has not been completely ruled out.
They are, however, going to have to be patient in their ongoing pursuit of a top target.
Niko Kovac will also have to make do for the time being or turn his attention to alternative targets in January.
Bayern are still scrapping to salvage a season which has seen them slip surprisingly off the pace in the German top tier.
They are currently taking in a winter break and will not return to action until January 18.
It remains to be seen how much further they will look to take their efforts to land Hernandez before then.
The 22-year-old has an €80 million (£72m/$91m) release clause in his contract which will need to be met in order for a deal to be done.
If it is triggered, then Atletico will be richly compensated for parting with Hernandez and find themselves in a position of boasting considerable funds with which to go and bring in a replacement at left-back.