Balitsch decides on Bayer
By Chris Ivers
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The 21-year-old made his decision public on his own personal website saying that he had a tough few weeks before deciding.
"I wanted to delay a decision for as long as possible with Cologne still deep in relegation trouble," said Balitsch.
"But I've realised that the ongoing speculation has been affecting my performances.
"Therefore I have made my decision this week: If Cologne go down I will join Bayer Leverkusen at the end of the season."
Balitsch, who has been in impressive form this season despite the Goats' disastrous year, was reputed to be on the shopping list of several top clubs including Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin.
The news of the former Mannheim player's choice will no doubt buoy Cologne's local rivals Leverkusen who will have to come to terms with the loss of midfield star Michael Ballack to Bayern at the end of the season.
Leverkusen will pay é¼2 million for the young midfielder.