Strictly curse rumours as David James pictured cuddling partner Nadiya Bychkova

We had nearly got to the Strictly Come Dancing final without rumbles of the Strictly curse hitting the cast.

But as Saturday night’s final approaches, there have been rumours about the relationship between England football legend David James and his professional partner Nadiya Bychkova.

A video from Aljaz Skorjanec’s Instagram stories showed the pair getting close as they rehearsed for the Strictly final… and not in a rumba kind of way.

David, 49, was seen wrapping his arms around the 30-year-old Ukranian dancer, with Nadiya holding his arms.

The goalkeeper could also be seen placing a tender kiss on Nadiya’s head, as Aljaz chatted to Mike Bushell in the foreground.

Nadiya is engaged to Slovenian footballer Matija Skarabot, with whom she has a three-year-old daughter Mila.

The dancer hasn’t shared a picture of her fiance on Instagram since July – however, on 1 November, Matija, 31, shared a gushing tribute to Nadiya.

He wrote: ‘Normally I keep my private things for my self but having in my life such a wonderful and lovely person is a gift…Not only that you are an incredible mum and life partner.

‘What inspires me the most is how you are beautiful in and out. In your life you had to go through many difficult obstacles and look what you have achieved and you are still achieving.

‘Together we are raising our beautiful daughter who I hope will follow your steps. Thank you for showing me what love means and because of that I will be grateful to you all my life. Love you.’

Nadiya commented: ‘Ljubim te’ – meaning ‘I love you’.

David – who has four children with ex-wife Tanya – and Nadiya grew close as they competed together on Strictly, up until the fourth week when they were eliminated.

But David denied any rumours of a romance, telling The Sun: ‘No romance, no. That wasn’t part of the deal. But she’s a great teacher.’

He also told The Mirror: ‘My view is that, in life itself, if two people are attracted to each other then something might happen, and it doesn’t need to be Strictly that causes that.

‘I think the situation with Nadiya and myself… there’s a goal in this. Nadiya is a fantastic teacher, I want to be a fantastic student, but we’re on Strictly Come Dancing, not Love Island or some other show where people get themselves together.’

It was reported earlier in the series that two members of the class of 2019 have embarked on a Strictly romance – although their identities have not been revealed.

A source told The Daily Star: ‘You wouldn’t put these two together. If people knew they had been quickstepping off to the bedroom, they would be stunned.

‘It seems there was an attraction early in the contest. They tried hard to resist it but couldn’t hold back.’

Strictly has produced many couples over the years – most recently Stacey Dooley and Kevin Clifton, who began dating after winning the 2018 series, with Dooley dumping her boyfriend of three years.

Saturday night will see all the celebs from the series return, as Kelvin Fletcher, Karim Zeroual and Emma Barton compete to win the 2019 Glitterball. has contacted David and Nadiya’s reps for comment.

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