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Atletico deny Lucas Hernandez to Bayern reports: 'He wants to stay with us'

21:20 GMT 19/12/2018
Lucas Hernandez Atletico Madrid 2018-19
The La Liga side's chief invited Bayern to meet the French international's hefty release clause as he insisted his starters were not up for sale

Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has denied reports that Lucas Hernandez is subject to interest from Bayern Munich, stating that the Frenchman wants to stay in La Liga.

Hernandez, 22, is regarded as one of the best young left-backs currently active in European football, displacing Filipe Luis to take a regular spot in the Atletico starting line-up.

The player was also an ever-present for France this summer as Les Bleus took their second World Cup title in Russia.

Reports in Spain suggest that Bayern are keen to take Hernandez to Bavaria, and could even match his release clause of €80 million (£72m/$91m) to make the transfer happen.

But Cerezo believes that the defender will opt to stay put at the Wanda Metropolitano.

"Right now Lucas Hernandez is an Atletico Madrid player. He wants to stay with us," the president told SportYou.

Explaining that he "was not aware of any German offer," Cerezo was defiant upon learning the Bayern links.

"Let them pay his €80m release. We are putting together a great team, not selling it off."

Bayern are not the only club who have been alerted by Lucas' talents.

The player himself admitted to receiving an offer from Atletico's rivals Real Madrid, which he gave short shrift.

"I didn't pay too much attention [to the offer]," Lucas said to RMC Sport . "I was 100 per cent focused on my club, where I had recently signed a new contract.

"My agent told me about it. When he said there was an opportunity to go to Real Madrid, I told him I couldn't do that.

"Atletico are my club, a team who have given me everything. I'm an honest person and I couldn't go to Madrid.

"I hope I can stay here for a very long time, but football moves very fast. If an offer comes in that I can't refuse..."

Lucas moved to Spain aged four with his family, and joined Atletico's youth ranks at 11 before making his full first-team debut at the end of 2014.

He has gone on to make over 100 appearances for the Colchoneros under the watchful eye of Diego Simeone, and is under contract in the Spanish capital until June 2022.