Borussia Dortmund CEO Aki Watzke has confirmed that there is a release clause in Marco Reus' contract with the club.
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It is the first time that Dortmund have publicly admitted that the clause exists, with Watzke claiming in an interview with the Westfalenpost that it was necessary as BVB "were not on today's level when we signed him."
Dortmund-born Reus joined his hometown club from Borussia Monchengladbach for a 17.1 million-euro fee, reportedly turning down an offer to join Bayern Munich.
Two years on and BVB remain hopeful of extending the sought-after Germany international's current deal, a move that could see the current release clause -- reportedly 25 million euros -- bumped up or removed completely.
"He joined Dortmund from Gladbach, and there might have been a few people close to him who said: It might be that it does not work out, and this allows you an exit," Watzke told Westfalenpost.
"Back then we were not on today's level. From today's perspective there would be no release clause, but he wanted one back then, there were 10 offers and we had to find a compromise.
"Had we not done it, he would maybe not be with us today. We will do a lot to convince Marco that his future is here. And he also has the chance to win a title here every year."
Reus, whose current deal expires in 2017, has been linked with many top European clubs in recent weeks, and has been at the centre of a war of words between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, whose CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge recently made the value of the release clause public.
Bayern's honorary president Franz Beckenbauer said earlier this week that Dortmund will struggle to keep Reus beyond the summer of 2015, and, on Tuesday, Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo claimed the 25-year-old turned down an "offer for a lot of money" to join Manchester United earlier this year.
According to media reports in Germany, Reus also rejected the chance to enter into transfer talks with Bayern Munich this summer.