Lars Bender extends Leverkusen contract to 2019

LEVERKUSEN, Germany (AP) — Germany midfielder Lars Bender has extended his contract with Bayer Leverkusen by another two years through June 2019.

The Bundesliga club says the 24-year-old Bender's decision to renew his deal well ahead of time is a "clear signal for the future." Bender says Leverkusen has developed "in a very positive way" and that "our team is strong and has the potential to be even better. I want to be part of this history and to play my part in ensuring we establish ourselves among the leading sides."

Bender has contributed 12 goals and set up 11 more in 115 Bundesliga games for Leverkusen since 2009. His twin brother Sven, also a Germany international, plays for league rival Borussia Dortmund.

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