BERLIN (Reuters) - Bayer Leverkusen keeper Bernd Leno has extended his contract at the Bundesliga club by one year to 2018 as the Champions League competitors look to hold on to their key players.
Germany's Under-21 keeper Leno, who follows in the footsteps of Lars Bender after the midfielder extended his Leverkusen contract to 2019 late last month, had joined as a 19-year-old two years ago.
"Bayer Leverkusen took me in as a third division keeper two years ago and made me into their number one and a Champions League participant," Leno said. "I am extremely thankful to the club."
Leno joined Leverkusen on loan in 2011 before signing a permanent deal a year later. He has been outstanding so far this season with Leverkusen in third place in the Bundesliga and in with a good chance of reaching the Champions League knockout stage.
"The boy is one of the best keepers in the country and he proves it week in, week out," said Leverkusen sports director Rudi Voller.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Justin Palmer)