Rumor Central: Columbus Crew address rumors about potential move for Hertha Berlin D Maik Franz

Maik Franz, Hertha Berlin

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File that one under rumor.

Reports out of Germany on Thursday indicated that the Columbus Crew are chasing after Hertha Berlin's 32-year-old central defender Maik Franz, but a spokesman for the MLS club told MLSsoccer.com that the claims are "bogus."

The link between Franz and the Crew can be attributed to Germany's top soccer daily, Kicker, which even cites "Iron Maik" as saying that a move to the Crew is "something that could tempt me, but in the end everything needs to fit."

According to the article, Franz has not played in the Bundesliga this season and minutes have been hard to come by after an ACL tear and a shoulder injury.

Could the player be using the Crew as leverage in contract negotiations? After all, Kicker says that Hertha are "considering offering Franz a new contract."

That's a more feasible scenario given the Crew already made their big splash in the international market, by acquiring American Michael Parkhurst to bolster a centerback corps that features Eric Gehrig, Josh Williams, Homegrown signing Matt Wiet and veteran Tyson Wahl, who served spot duty at the position last year.