Is Marco Reus really going to stay at Borussia Dortmund beyond this season?
Currently one of the biggest stars in the game, Marco Reus unbelievably signed a contract extension at Borussia Dortmund of a four-and-a-half year deal that will keep Reus at the Westfalenstadion till 2019.
The fact that the Dortmund CEO expressed his gratitude to Reus stating that he rejected bigger offers from other clubs, and the statement of their manager Jurgen Klopp pertinent to the applause he received from his teammates in the dressing room, just goes to show how surprising the news of the contract extension has been. Even the most fervent Westfalenstadion faithful may have found this news hard to believe.
But more doubts creep in after the deal was announced. Has Reus really signed this new contract to stay at the club or is it just a tactic to increase his value, which before this deal, was a paltry €25 million? Dortmund currently lie 16th in the Bundesliga table and the possibility of a relegation is more likely than a push for a Champions League spot. At the age of 25 and possibly entering his peak, Reus’ decision to renew his contract is inexplicable.
Personally, Reus is not having a great season this year by his usual standards. He did suffer a number of injuries this season and might still be cursing the fact that his injury stopped him from being a part of the German team that won the World Cup in Brazil.
The main reason for him to join Dortmund from Monchengladbach in 2012 was, apart from being his hometown club, that the club gave him an opportunity to compete for league titles and Champions League football. The club is currently not in a position to offer either of the two. One can argue that the club is fairing poorly on the domestic front this season because of a lot of injuries to most of their key players. When everyone is fit, one can argue that Dortmund will be challenging at the top possibly from next season.
The contrast between their European and domestic form may emphasize the fact that Dortmund still possess one of the best teams in Europe. One season without Champions League may not provide the biggest incentive to leave your homegrown club. Maybe, Reus signed the contract with the same point of view and he wants to say at his boyhood club for a long time.
But what if the club continues to disintegrate and may even get relegated at the end of this season? Dortmund have been there before in the case of Robert Lewandowski who did not want to extend the contract with the fear of honoring it.The club faced a huge loss because they had to let go off their main striker for nothing with a lack of significant investment in that position which is still hurting their season. Hence, there may be a possibility of the club taking that into account this time around with a possible clause added in the contract of Marco Reus. In this way, even if they lose their prized asset, they will be looking at earning a significant amount of money which they can invest in their squad.
Contract extension doesn’t always mean the player is staying
There have been instances where footballers have not honoured their contracts. The same has happened before with stars like Gareth Bale, Thierry Henry, Luis Suarez and even former Dortmund man Mario Goetze who signed for rivals Bayern Munich just a year after his contract extension. So the fact that the same cannot happen here is more a case of ignorance rather than optimism.
Excluding Barcelona, because of their transfer ban, with top clubs like Real Madrid, Arsenal and Chelsea interested in the German superstar, this contract extension will enable Dortmund to get a good value for their biggest asset next season. Both Mario Goetze and Robert Lewandowski left the club in successive seasons and joined their fierce rivals Bayern when Dortmund were still capable of challenging on all fronts.
Although there has been a contract extension, the reaction to the departure of Reus, if that happens, should not be that surprising given the current state of the club. With footballers being signed for exorbitant amounts in this age, Reus may have provided the perfect goodbye gift to Dortmund by signing this extension.
He wanted to finish his job at the club. Ironically, that job can be either by being a true football legend by staying with Dortmund through their tough times or by giving them money in the form of a huge transfer fee through his sale..