Borussia Dortmund Marco Reus insists he never had any desire to join Bayern Munich.
Towards the end of Dortmund's impressive spell of success under Jurgen Klopp – an era that yielded back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2010-11 and 2011-12 – Mario Gotze, Robert Lewandowski and Mats Hummels all swapped Signal Iduna Park for the Allianz Arena.
Reus, who joined BVB from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2012, was also a target for Bayern but explained in an interview with Sport Bild that his heart always lay at a club where he now proudly wears the captain's armband.
"The request came, as it did from other clubs. I have the greatest respect for Bayern Munich and what the club has been doing for decades," he said.
"But I always wanted to play for BVB. It was always the club my heart drew me to. When I played in Gladbach at the time, it was clear to me: within the Bundesliga, I only change to Dortmund, otherwise I go abroad."
Thomas Muller signed an extended contract until 2023 at Bayern this week, matching the terms his fellow 30-year-old Reus has at Dortmund.
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“I think it is also important for the fans that there are guys like Thomas and me. They notice that we identify with their club as much as they do it themselves," he said.
"It has always been my dream to play for BVB. Here I have everything to be happy: my home, my family, my club.
"And this feeling has always prevailed - even if another country with a different culture might have been attractive."