Julian Weigl has committed his future to Borussia Dortmund by signing an extension to his current contract.
Weigl has long been rumoured to be a target for Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, with the latter even said to have reached a “special agreement” with Dortmund over first refusal for Weigl, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ousmane Dembele.
The 21-year old has now committed his future to Dortmund by signing a new contract, which will keep him at the club until 2021. It is a two-year extension to his previous contract, which ran until 2019.
Speaking after signing the contract, Weigl expressed his pleasure at the new deal and said staying at Dortmund was the decision that made the most sense for his career.
“I feel well looked-after here in Dortmund, both in a sporting sense and generally. It was a logical decision for me to extend my contract, one that required little reflection,” he said, according to the club’s official website.
Dortmund’s Sporting Director Michael Zorc was also delighted that the player had decided to stay, highlighting the fact that he had already become an important part of the team despite his young age.
“Julian is already an important figure despite his youth. In a very short period of time, he has been able to secure his place at BVB as well as play at a high level, and is still at the beginning of his sporting development,” he said.
“We are delighted that he has decided to stay with us long-term.”
A tough-tackling holding midfielder with good all-round ability, Weigl has been involved in every single game for Dortmund this season and his performances have been attracting the attention of clubs all over Europe.
The midfielder’s debut season saw him in the starting XI 25 times in his 30 Bundesliga matches, where he immediately fit in seamlessly. Weigl misplaced only 8% of his passes, the best of any player at Dortmund. Weigl also set a historic Bundesliga record with 214 touches of the ball against Cologne, breaking a record that was previously held by Bayern Munich midfielder Xabi Alonso.
This season, Weigl has been averaging a 92.1% pass success rate and has made an average of 2.2 tackles per game across all competitions.
His performances were also recognised by Joachim Loew, who gave Weigl his first International cap for Germany against Slovakia. Weigl also made the cut for the final squad for the Euro 2016 tournament, but did not feature in any of Germany’s games.
The confirmation of his contract extension will end any talk of a move to Spain or England, at least for the foreseeable future.