Ralf Rangnick has shot down the persistent speculation he will become AC Milan's next head coach.
The former Schalke, Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig boss has been repeatedly linked with the San Siro post for months.
Reports in Italy have frequently portrayed the deal as being effectively done, but that does not tally with Rangnick's explanation.
Rangnick currently works behind the scenes with Leipzig, as well as other football clubs tied to Red Bull, in his role as the energy drinks merchant's head of sport and development.
Asked about the Milan job, Rangnick told German broadcaster MDR on Friday: "There is nothing to it. There were once loose enquiries, but such a statement has nothing to do with reality."
That may come as some surprise to former Milan chief football officer Zvonimir Boban, who claimed after his March exit from the club that a deal for Rangnick had been agreed last December.
Boban lashed out at his former club and its Chief Executive Officer Ivan Gazidis following his departure from Milan, which came about as the 51-year-old believed the former Arsenal chief had approached Rangnick behind his back.
“Until a few days ago, I didn't think it were true that there were two souls within Milan,” Boban told Gazzetta dello Sport last month, “albeit taking into account all the thousand initial difficulties, cultural differences and very different passions for the Rossoneri cause.
“Not even warning us was disrespectful and inelegant. It was not the Milan style. At least not what we remembered the Milan style as being.
Boban added: “They closed a deal with Rangnick in December. I can wish him all the luck in the world, but they needed to tell me about this. I deserved to be informed of the initiative.”
Stefano Pioli is head coach of Milan, having been appointed in October after a difficult start to the season under previous boss Marco Giampaolo.
Before the Serie A season was brought to a halt by the coronavirus pandemic, Milan were seventh in the table with 36 points from 28 games, three points off Napoli in the Europa League spots and 12 points behind Atalanta in fourth.