Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels has revealed it was his decision not to include a release clause in his current contract, insisting he wants to ensure any move in the future sees all parties receive a fair deal.
The Germany international was thought to be Louis van Gaal's priority defensive target over the summer in a bid to strengthen Manchester United's back line but both the player and Dortmund resisted such a move.
After being awarded the captain's armband at the Westfalenstadion this summer the World Cup winner seems unlikely to leave the club any time soon. And while refusing to rule out a move later in his career the centre half insists he has made provisions to ensure his club receive the right deal should he seek a new challenge.
Speaking to transfermarket.de he said: "I could have had that clause (a release clause after signing a new contract with Dortmund in 2012) but I made a conscious decision against it. When I extended the contract, I wanted to set an example," ESPN report.
"I couldn't be happier at any other club in the world right now. Should I make a move somewhere else, I would want that to be a fair deal for everyone."
Dortmund are faced with a tough challenge in retaining the services of Hummels' teammate Marco Reus due to a release clause written into the midfielder's contract.
A clause of €25m (£20m), a relative bargain given Reus' impact for club and country in recent years, becomes active at the end of the current season, suggesting Dortmund may listen to offers before then in order to recoup the highest transfer fee possible for their midfielder.
Both United and Arsenal have been relentlessly linked with 25-year-old Reus for over a year while Atletico Madrid also saw their interest knocked back during the summer. Enrique Cerezo, Atletico's club president, implied at the time that United had also seen their offer rejected by the Bundesliga giants.