Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has denied reports he was involved in an attempted kidnapping in Paris, saying people should “give me a break”.
French publication Mediapart claimed Benzema, 30, was involved in the alleged kidnap attempt of an acquaintance who reportedly owes him 50,000 euros (£43,979).
The man allegedly said Benzema and others tried to load him into a black van on 7 October.
“Is this world serious?” Benzema said.
He added on Twitter: “This must stop.”
According to the report, the man told police he had seen Benzema in the back of the van.
But the latest police reports say it is believed the player was not present, according to AFP.
Sources have told the news agency that prosecutors in Paris have opened an investigation into the driver of the van over the attempted kidnapping allegation.
Benzema’s lawyer, Sylvain Cormier, told AFP: “This man has not been signed off from work for medical reasons, he’s accusing a friend of Benzema’s of grabbing his arm, and we also know that Karim Benzema was not present.
“And yet, he [Benzema] is being accused of attempted kidnapping. It’s just grotesque.”
Benzema has not played for France since being left out of the squad for Euro 2016.