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 By PA Sport

Despite Bayern Munich links, Cologne's Jonas Hector signs new two-year deal

Jonas Hector was part of the Germany squad that reached the Euro 2016 semifinals.

Germany defender Jonas Hector has ended speculation about his future by signing a two-year contract extension with relegation-threatened Cologne.

Hector, 27, was reported to be interesting clubs, including Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund and Serie A leaders Juventus, but is now committed to the club until 2023.

Cologne, bottom of the Bundesliga and eight points from safety with three games remaining, will almost certainly be playing in Germany's second tier next season.

"Cologne allowed me to take the path from the regional league [fourth division] to the German national team," Hector told the club's website. "I am very connected and thankful to this club and feel very comfortable living in Cologne. It would have been no problem for me to switch to another club after this season, but it would not have felt right.

"The decision for me is clear: I belong to [Cologne] and I want to go into the new season with this team and with these fans.''

The left-back joined the club's second team from Auersmacher eight years ago and has played for the senior side since 2012, making 187 appearances.

He made his senior international debut against Gibraltar in November 2014 and was part of the squad that reached the semifinals at Euro 2016 and the one that won last year's Confederations Cup.

"Jonas is an exceptional player and an extraordinary person, which is something you no longer see too much of in professional football these days," Cologne managing director Armin Veh said. "His commitment to Cologne is a superb signal to the team, the club, and the fans."

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