Germany's Lars Bender celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the Euro 2012 soccer championship Group B match between Denmark and Germany in Lviv, Ukraine, Sunday, June 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

Leverkusen, Germany - Germany midfielder Lars Bender has ruled out a move to Bayern Munich, saying he is committed to fellow Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen .

“Bayern have made it clear to me that I am a pillar of the team and they won't let me go,” Bender told Leverkusen's website Tuesday.

“I have recently extended my contract in Leverkusen and now want to take the next step with Bayer. There is nothing more to say and I won't take part in any more speculation.”

Bayern Munich had expressed an interest in signing the 23-year-old player, who was in Germany's Euro 2012 squad, but Leverkusen, who are in pre-season training in St Gallen, Switzerland, had ruled out any transfer.

Bender, whose twin brother Sven plays for Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund, said the team had high expectations for the coming season after finishing fifth last season to qualify for the Europa League.

“I have had a very, very good impression from the team in my first training sessions. Our goal is quite clearly to get into the Champions League again,” he said. - Sapa-dpa