VfL Wolfsburg on Thursday denied German media reports they have agreed a transfer fee with Manchester City for Belgium midfielder Kevin de Bruyne, but admit they are negotiating.
German daily Bild and football magazine Kicker, plus local newspaper Wolfsburger Allgemeine Zeitung, all claim Premier League City are set to pay a new Bundesliga record of 74 million euros ($83.64m, £54m) for De Bruyne, 24.
Wolfsburg's director of sport Klaus Allofs has admitted De Bruyne, whose current contract runs until 2019, wants to leave despite their best efforts to convince him to stay, but insisted no agreement has yet been reached with City.
Wolves host Schalke 04 in the league on Friday and Allofs says they expect to have De Bruyne in their squad, but for the last "two or three days" it has been clear the player wants to leave.
"The reports I have read are wrong, there's no agreement with Manchester City," said Allofs tersely.
"We have to take the time to make a denial and once again we have to say things (reports) are galloping faster
than it makes sense for them to do.
"What I can confirm is that despite our efforts to convince Kevin to stay with us and fulfil his contract, we have opened up negotiations.
"If we can't agree on a price, Kevin will be one of our players for the coming season, which for me would be the right thing."
The huge transfer fee quoted, which could rise to 80 million euros with bonuses, would smash the previous Bundesliga record when Liverpool paid Hoffenheim 41 million euros for Brazil striker Roberto Firmino in July.
City have been chasing Belgium international attacking midfielder De Bruyne's signature for weeks.
Germany's footballer of the year for 2014/15 played a key role in helping Wolfsburg win the German Cup last season as they finished second only to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga as he scored 16 goals and provided 29 assists across all competitions.
De Bruyne cost Wolfsburg 25 million euros when he joined from Chelsea in January 2014 after a year on loan at fellow German league side Werder Bremen in the 2012/13 season.