DM20 million (€10m) from Italy. DM26 million (€13m) from England. The wires have been buzzing with rumours over Newcastle and Napoli’s tug-of-war for Belgian striker Emile Mpenza.
But rumours are all they are, according to Schalke 04 director of sports Andreas Müller who denied receiving any offers at all for Mpenza - and said that the talented striker would stay at Schalke.
“The fact of the matter is that we have had no offers for Mpenza. Not even a phone call from somewhere asking about him.
“For the kind of money being mentioned we would never let him go. We could never get a replacement in time for the start of the season in August,” he said.
Schalke are hoping that Mpenza, who returns from holiday today, will be able to pick up his impressive partnership with Dane Ebbe Sand.
“They showed their class last season,” Müller said. With Andreas Möller newly arrived from Borussia Dortmund and Marc Wilmots staying at the club, Dutch coach Huub Stevens expects an even stronger attack next season.
However, a move by Mpenza is not necessarily out of the question. The striker has never made a secret of his ambitions to one day play in either England or Italy.