Dortmund's Marco Reus says he will never join Bayern Munich. Photo: Peter Steffen//dpa via AP

BERLIN Germany winger Marco Reus has insisted he will never take the well-worn path of joining Bayern Munich from Borussia Dortmund as the bitter Bundesliga rivals remain locked in a battle for the title.

Reus is Dortmund born and bred, having come up through their youth academy, and is in great form on the left wing, with 11 goals in 17 league games for the league leaders ahead of their clash with RB Leipzig on Saturday night.

"Me? To Bayern? Never! You'll never see me at FC Bayern, I can promise you that," the 29-year-old Reus told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.

Dortmund, who are chasing their first German title since 2012, face will finish the weekend top, although Bayern's 3-1 win at Hoffenheim on Friday left the defending champions just three points back in second and insisting they will win a seventh straight Bundesliga title.

Reus' clear statement will relieve Dortmund fans who have had to watch their heroes move to Munich, including midfielder Mario Goetze in 2013, top-scoring striker Robert Lewandowski a year later and key defender Mats Hummels, in 2016.

Goetze, whose winning goal gave Germany the 2014 World Cup title in Brazil, returned to Dortmund after three unhappy years in Munich in which he failed to hold down a permanent first-team spot.

Having learnt from Goetze's experience, injury-prone Reus is enjoying one of the best seasons of his career after being made captain pre-season, and was voted the Bundesliga's player of the month in December.

"My body language has changed since I became captain," he said.

"I have grown into the responsibility, it starts with the fact that I have a different standing -- I want to be a role model."

Reus also said Germany's disastrous 2018 World Cup display, crashing out after the group stages in Russia for the first time in their history, was a blessing in disguise.

"Unfortunately, we came home early, but I had more time (to recover)," he added.

"My body was able to really come down and I was able to put in a good pre-season."

AFP

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