New Wolfsburg managing director Dieter Hoeness has denied making a move for Hertha Berlin defender Arne Friedrich.
The duo built up a productive relationship during Hoeness' tenure at the Olympic Stadium and speculation has been rife that the 30-year-old will join his former boss at the Bundesliga champions.
Hertha have endured a woeful start to the season, picking up just six points from their opening 17 games, but Hoeness denies he is trying to take advantage of his former club's perilous position by raiding their captain.
Hoeness, who took up his role at Wolfsburg last month, told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag: "We have not made Hertha an offer for Arne Friedrich and we have not even decided yet whether we will sign anybody at all during the winter break."
Friedrich's team-mate Andre Lima could make a surprise return to Hertha this month after failing to agree a new deal with Botafogo.
The striker spent much of 2009 on loan with the Brazilian club after being told he was surplus to requirements in Germany, but the 24-year-old has yet to finalise a permanent move and could be made to return to Europe.
Lima told spox.com: "Everybody knows I definitely want to stay at Botafogo but I am unsure of my fate. It all depends on how negotiations go between the two clubs."