Bayern Munich boss Carlo Ancelotti has told reporters they were duped by Mario Basler's claims that he will leave the Allianz Arena to coach in the Chinese Super League.
Former Germany winger Basler, who won Bundesliga titles with Bayern in 1996-97 and 1998-99 during his playing days, caused a stir over the weekend when he told Sport1 that Ancelotti was bound for the CSL during the next mid-season break, having signed a pre-contract agreement.
But speaking at a pre-match news conference for Tuesday's Champions league Group B opener against Anderlecht, Ancelotti dismissed Basler's words as a joke.
"I prefer to speak about serious things, but that's a joke," he said, cocking an eyebrow slightly higher than usual.
"The problem is many people didn't understand it was a joke. They took it seriously."
Bayern certainly have no room for tomfoolery against Anderlecht, having suffered a shock 2-0 loss to Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga.
Arturo Vidal misses out through suspension, left-backs David Alaba and Juan Bernat (both ankle) remain on the sidelines, while Winger Franck Ribery featured as a late substitute in Hoffenheim but faces a late fitness test.
"Ribery, I gave him a break against Hoffenheim because he was not 100 per cent," Ancelotti added. "He had a problem on Friday and we have to check him."