The constant rumours surrounding Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's Borussia Dortmund future was "annoying" in the extreme, according to teammate Ousmane Dembele.
The French star was quoted in Sport Bild as he commented on the gossip earlier in the summer about Aubameyang departing the Westfalenstadion to complete a transfer to Premier League holders Chelsea.
That speculation followed plenty of conjecture about the striker's situation with Dortmund with Real Madrid and Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjin said to have been looking at signing him, and Dembele admitted that the furore over his fellow forward's future had irked him.
He said: "Aubameyang in Tianjin Quanjian? This is totally unfounded. This is only misleading to the fans," Dembele told Bild.
"There are no contacts. There are no negotiations, and there is nothing to indicate that. It annoys me. I’m glad he’s still playing with us. He’s like a brother for me."
Blues boss Antonio Conte had weighed up whether to prise Aubameyang away from Germany, ahead of his eventual £60m acquistion of Alvaro Morata, after Chelsea had missed out on key transfer target Romelu Lukaku.
Other reports at the start of July also appeared to claim that the Gabon international was on the cusp of a £17m move to the Far East after Tianjin Quanjin had "agreed" to join them due to the unreal wages he had been offered.
However, that move failed to materialise and the 28-year-old is now set to remain with Peter Bosz's senior squad for another season as long as no other interested parties try to test the waters.
Liverpool were also tentatively linked with making a bid for Aubameyang, but the Reds declined to make the interest concrete.
Aubameyang, who harbours ambitions of playing for Real Madrid due to a promise he had to his late grandfather, has become one of the most consistent goalscorers in world football. The ex-Saint Etienne star has plundered a sensational 120 goals in just 189 games for Dortmund, and has helped fire them to two German Super Cups and the 2017 DfB Pokal Cup in his four-year spell.