Berlin: Germany winger Marco Reus insists he will never take the well-worn path of joining Bayern Munich from Borussia Dortmund as the bitter Bundesliga rivals remain locked in a battle for the title.
Reus is Dortmund born and bred, having come up through their youth academy, and is in great form on the left wing, with 11 goals in 17 league games.
However, he sat out Saturday's 1-0 win at RB Leipzig, which left Dortmund six points clear of Bayern at the top of the table, after twisting his ankle in training on Friday.
"Me? To Bayern? Never! You'll never see me at FC Bayern, I can promise you that," the 29-year-old Reus told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.
Dortmund are chasing their first German title since 2012 while Bayern enjoyed an impressive 3-1 win at Hoffenheim on Friday and insist they can still win a seventh straight Bundesliga title, despite the six-point gap.
Reus' clear statement will relieve Dortmund fans who have had to watch their heroes move to Munich, including midfielder Mario Goetze in 2013, top-scoring striker Robert Lewandowski a year later and key defender Mats Hummels, in 2016.
Goetze, whose winning goal gave Germany the 2014 World Cup title in Brazil, returned to Dortmund after three unhappy years in Munich in which he failed to hold down a permanent first-team spot.
Having learnt from Goetze's experience, injury-prone Reus is enjoying one of the best seasons of his career after being made captain pre-season, and was voted the Bundesliga's player of the month in December.
"My body language has changed since I became captain," he said.
"I have grown into the responsibility, it starts with the fact that I have a different standing -- I want to be a role model."
Reus also said Germany's disastrous 2018 World Cup display, crashing out after the group stages in Russia for the first time in their history, was a blessing in disguise.
"Unfortunately, we came home early, but I had more time (to recover)," he added.
"My body was able to really come down and I was able to put in a good pre-season."
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Updated Date: Jan 20, 2019 17:08:12 IST