Manchester City have reacted with surprise after being linked with an £30 million bid for Chelsea centre-back David Luiz.
Reports in the English press suggested the reigning Premier League champions were readying an offer for Luiz, who has become an important player at Stamford Bridge since his arrival from Benfica in January 2011.
However, sources at the Etihad Stadium have told ESPN the speculation has “no foundation whatsoever” and there are no plans to make a move for the Brazil international.
Roberto Mancini confirmed as much in his Friday press conference, saying: “I read it a newspaper but it is not true. David Luiz is young and is a fantastic player but it is not true.”
City suspect Luiz’s agent might be trying to whip up interest in his client, and the player has also been linked with a switch to Barcelona. Chelsea have not indicated that Luiz, a cult figure at the Bridge, is available for transfer.
Mancini still wants to bolster his defensive options before the end of the transfer window, and has not completely given up hope of signing Daniel Agger from Liverpool.
The Reds want £25 million for Agger, and City are still weighing up whether to meet that asking price as they search for more depth in central defence to augment Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott and Stefan Savic.