Julian Draxler ends Dortmund rumours with new Schalke deal

Julian Draxler

Schalke midfielder Julian Draxler has ended speculation linking him with local Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund and the Premier League by signing a two-year contract extension.

The 19-year-old Germany international's new deal runs until the summer of 2018.

Highly rated Draxler had been linked to Dortmund as a replacement

On his Facebook page, Draxler recently said he would have to be "brainwashed" to join Schalke's bitter rivals.

Billboards in Schalke's home city of Gelsenkirchen had hinted at the official announcement that the popular teenager would stay.

Lorries bearing Draxler's image and the slogan "With pride and passion until 2018 - contract extended" drove through the city on Thursday, 24 hours before the image appeared on the club's website.

According to German football magazine Kicker, the lorries' route included the outskirts of Dortmund, 20 miles away.

Draxler, who joined Schalke at the age of seven and became their youngest ever player when he made his first-team debut at the age of 17, had promised the club's fans that he would never play for their Ruhr Valley rivals.

Schalke general manager Horst Heldt had claimed that it would take a bid of £85m to persuade the club to sell a player who has also been linked with Manchester United and Arsenal.

Draxler has scored nine goals this season, helping Schalke to fourth, the final Bundesliga qualifying spot for next season's Champions League, with two games remaining.

He made his full international debut in Germany's 5-3 defeat by Switzerland in May 2012 and has since won another three caps.

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