Charles Aranguiz: Bayer Leverkusen always showed interest in me
Chile midfielder Charles Aranguiz said he is eager to join his international teammates in Germany and get his first taste of European football with Bayer Leverkusen, who are expected to announce the 26-year-old's signing from Brazilian club Internacional on Wednesday.
Aranguiz said he was only interested in playing forthe German club, although he had reportedly attracted a higher bid from Leicester. The Premier League side reportedly offered him €15m while Leverkusen were said to be only willing to pay €10m, according to the Rheinische Post.
"I hope to play at their level and play well for all those who trusted in me," Aranguiz told AS Chile. "I picked Leverkusen because they always showed interest in me. No other club talked to me. They were always very clear."
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Aranguiz flew from Chile to Germany on Tuesday and said he is looking forward to the experience, especially the chance to play in a league that features Chile teammates Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich), Marcelo Diaz (Hamburg), Gonzalo Jara (Mainz) and Miiko Albornoz (Hannover). Vidal starred in Leverkusen after moving from Chile.
"It is important that Chilean players are in the big leagues in Europe," Aranguiz said. "That speaks well about the work that we are doing. As for facing other Chileans [in Bundesliga] that is great."
Aranguiz helped his country win Copa America this summer, scoring twice in a 5-0 group win against Bolivia before netting in the penalty shootout victory over Argentina in the final.
Last week, Internacional coach Diego Aguirre confirmed Aranguiz's exit, saying: "It is normal that these things happen, that there are offers for important players each year. Aranguiz will have his first important transfer and I can only be happy for him."
Inter were knocked out of the Copa Libertadores two weeks ago at the semifinal stage by Mexican side Tigres.