Mats Hummels has denied he has signed a pre-contract agreement with Barcelona for next season.
The Borussia Dortmund central defender has been constantly linked with a move to the Catalan giants, yet in an interview with Bundesliga.de the 25-year-old is adamant he has never really considered leaving Signal Iduna Park.
“According to various media outlets I’ve negotiated with several clubs and already signed a pre-contract with Barcelona, but there isn’t a grain of truth in any of it.
“I’ve never really planned to leave here for anywhere else,” maintained the German international.
Hummels arrived at Dortmund from Bayern Munich in January 2008, initially on loan, but some impressive performances earned him a permanent move just over a year later.
Since then he has won two Bundesliga titles and helped his team to the final of the 2013 Champions League, which saw numerous clubs come knocking at the door.
“In 2012 when we won the Bundesliga for a second time all of us could have gone where we wanted, but I made a clear decision to stay at Dortmund because I felt what we had here was something unique,” he revealed.
Asked if loyalty to one club is rare in this day and age, Hummels cited some examples.
“I’m thinking of players like Paolo Maldini at Milan and Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard, while Lionel Messi is still at Barcelona. At Bayern, Thomas Muller and Bastian Schweinsteiger will probably be there until the end of their careers.”
Hummels has said repeatedly he would like to win trophies with Dortmund, although he recognises the difficulties involved.
“With 25 superstars in the squad anyone would expect success. As a result, at this club everybody has to take on more responsibility.
“It’s a lot more difficult to win titles but it’s also possible. Therefore, if you can achieve that the emotion is even greater,” he explained.