Marco Reus signs Borussia Dortmund contract extension until 2019

Reus signs new Dortmund contract (0:40)

Struggling Borussia Dortmund were able to secure the talents of one of their biggest starts after in demand Marco Reus signed a new four and a half year deal. (0:40)

Marco Reus has committed to a contract extension at Borussia Dortmund until 2019 that removes his release clause.

Reus, whose previous contract contained a release clause that could have been activated for 25 million euros this summer, had been linked with Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The Germany international announced the news on his official Twitter account, writing: "Hey Folks. I am delighted to inform you that I have prolonged my contract until 2019. Marco!"

Dortmund, who had been unable to prevent key stars Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski leaving for Bayern Munich in recent years, had been expected to lose Reus after enduring a difficult campaign in the Bundesliga that has seen them struggling in the relegation zone.

However, Reus said on Facebook that he had made the decision to stay with his hometown club after listening to his heart.

He wrote: "I am very much looking forward to the future at BVB with our outstanding fans backing us. My heart has decided. Let's get it started. We want to achieve a lot of things. Not only this season."

In an interview with Ruhr Nachrichten, Reus added: "When I signed for Dortmund, I said that I want to achieve great things with the club. I have the feeling that it's not over yet, especially given our difficult situation right now.

"I stand by my words. You win and you lose together. It's also a decision for life. That's why it took me so long to decide."

It had been reported prior to the announcement that Reus' new deal would remove the 25 million euro release clause, and Dortmund confirmed in a club statement: "From this day on, there are no more release clauses."

Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke believes the attacker, who returned to the club from Borussia Monchengladbach in 2012, can now establish himself as a true legend at the Westfalenstadion.

"Marco Reus can define an era in Dortmund just like Uwe Seeler has done at Hamburg or Steven Gerrard at Liverpool," Watzke said on the club's official website. "That Marco has opted for BVB amid a sporting crisis shows he truly identifies with the club and that makes us very proud."

Watzke later told Sky that the contract does not contain a clause that would allow Reus to leave if Dortmund were relegated to the second division.

Chelsea and Manchester City had also been credited with an interest, and BVB sporting director Michael Zorc said: "Marco Reus could have joined nearly every top club in the world. He has shown that his heart beats for his hometown and his hometown club. He is a very important component for Borussia Dortmund's future."

The announcement of the new Reus deal was praised by German media, with the tabloid Bild saying the Dortmund star has become "the Anti-Gotze" and could "immediately turn into a cult figure through his decision, which is atypical for the current market."

Kicker, meanwhile, was one of several news outlets to report that the contract extension sends out a strong signal from BVB, given that the club appears likely to miss out on Champions League football next season.