Fenerbahce defender and rumoured Chelsea target Simon Kjaer has revealed that he found recent speculation linking him with a transfer away from Istanbul as "flattering".
January reports originating in Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport suggested that the Premier League leaders were preparing a £16m ($19.9m) bid for Kjaer, with the Danish international defender thought to be an ideal fit for Antonio Conte's massively successful 3-4-3 formation.
Fenerbahce responded to such speculation with a defiant public statement insisting that they had "not received any offers whatsoever for Kjaer" and that "any claims suggesting a transfer could take place are wrong".
They also claimed that the former Lille centre-back was a happy and successful member of their team and urged supporters to "disregard such lies and manipulative reports that aim to disrupt our team".
Addressing that situation during a recent interview with Goal, Kjaer admitted it was pleasing to be linked with other big teams but reiterated that he was not currently considering a future away from Fenerbahce. The 27-year-old has made 28 appearances across all competitions so far this term as Dick Advocaat's side, now fourth and eight points adrift of Besiktas in the Super Lig title race, aim to keep hopes of a Europa League and Turkish Cup double alive.
"Fenerbahce gave a statement saying it all: There was nothing in it," he said. "As a player, you have to close your eyes and ears for rumours, because there are always so many of them. Again, it is flattering to be mentioned in connection with other big clubs, and it confirms that I am doing things well, but I am a Fenerbahce player, and my only focus is on this club."
Chelsea did not secure any new additions during the January transfer window despite deadline day links to Celtic striker Moussa Dembele, Inter Milan's Jonathan Biabiany and Sead Kolasinac of Schalke, although Conte did opt to recall young trio Nathan Ake, Kenedy and Charly Musonda from their respective loan spells. The pursuit of a new second-string goalkeeper in Craig Gordon that would have allowed Thibaut Courtois' current deputy Asmir Begovic to join Bournemouth also proved fruitless.