Sven “Manni” Bender has been sold to Bayer Leverkusen, German outlet RevierSport have reported a transfer sum of 15€ million. In Leverkusen, Bender who can play at center back or defensive midfield, will sign a contract until 2021.
Borussia Dortmund has confirmed the move on Thursday, pending a medical. Hans-Joachim Watzke and Michael Zorc stated that they did not want to sell Bender initially but the explicit desire from Manni to make the move and his years of service for Borussia Dortmund made them change their mind and grant him his wish.
In a statement, Bender said that he himself contacted Watzke and Zorc a few days ago and asked for the move. Even though the BVB-officials were reluctant to sell him the respect for Sven Bender and his performances for the club over the past 8 years made them respect his wish.
Bender joined Borussia Dortmund in 2009 from 1860 Munich. In his 8 years for the club he appeared in 224 games for the black and yellows and won 2 Bundesliga titles as well as 2 DFB Cups. His career was seriously disrupted by various injuries over the years which made it hard for him to get regular playing time. In 2016/17 he appeared in just 8 games for Dortmund but he still made a crucial save for Dortmund against Bayern that will cement him as a BVB-legend.
Mach's gut, Iron Manni!— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) July 13, 2017
Wir werden dich hier nie vergessen! pic.twitter.com/ngR4nwyORM
Godbye Manni and good luck for your future!