Leverkusen out to keep Arsenal-target Bellarabi

AFP , Sunday 22 Mar 2015

Hertha BSC Berlin's Johann van den Bergh, John Anthony Brooks and Peter Niemeyer (L-R) challenge Bayer Leverkusen's Karim Bellarabi (R) during the German first division Bundesliga soccer match in Leverkusen August 30, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

Germany winger Karim Bellarabi, who has been linked to Premier League side Arsenal, has no release clause in his current contract, Bayer Leverkusen's director of sport Rudi Voeller revealed Sunday.

The 24-year-old Bellarabi has won four caps for world champions Germany and last month signed an extension to keep him in Leverkusen until 2020.

Reports in the UK media claim Arsenal want to sign him at the end of the season, but Voeller insists Leverkusen want to keep their rising star, who scored the winning goal on Saturday to put Leverkusen third in Germany's top flight.

"He has no exit clause in his contract," Voeller told German broadcaster Sport1.

"We didn't want to be tempted to sell him and that's why we extended his contract. We also need to achieve our goals."

Bellarabi claimed his 11th league goal of the season after 35 minutes at Schalke on Saturday when he fired home from a tight angle to seal Bayer's 1-0 win.

Having set the record for the fastest Bundesliga goal when he scored after nine seconds at Dortmund last August, Bellarabi broke into the Germany squad after their World Cup triumph and has played in all of their last four games.

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