Dortmund's Bender signs long contract extension
BERLIN (Reuters) - Borussia Dortmund midfielder Sven Bender signed a contract extension on Tuesday that will keep him at the Ruhr valley club until 2021 and he urged his team mates to do the same.
Several leading Dortmund players, including playmaker Ilkay Guendogan and central defender Mats Hummels, have repeatedly been linked with moves abroad.
"I am extremely happy to be able to keep wearing the Dortmund top in the future," Bender said in a club statement.
"I would be happy if in the coming weeks other team mates follow suit."
The 26-year-old Bender, who can also play as a central defender, joined Dortmund in 2009, winning consecutive league titles in 2011 and 2012 and becoming a Germany international.
"I am happy that a player with such strength of character has decided in favour of a future with us," said Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.
Bender's twin brother, Lars, plays for Bundesliga rivals Bayer Leverkusen and has also represented the national team.
Dortmund are second in the Bundesliga, 15 points clear of third-placed Hertha Berlin and on course to return to the Champions League next season. They are eight points behind leaders Bayern Munich.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)