Bayer Leverkusen complete deal for Chile international Charles Aranguiz
Chile midifielder Charles Aranguiz has completed his move to Bayer Leverkusen from Internacional in a deal reported to be worth €12 million plus add-ons.
Aranguiz, 26, starred for his country at the 2015 Copa America as the hosts beat beat Argentina to win the tournament on home soil.
The attacking midfielder was also linked with a move to Leicester City, who hoped to land the player by offering €15m.
But Aranguiz opted for Leverkusen because "they always showed interest" in him, the player told AS Chile before his departure for Germany earlier this week.
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Aranguiz has signed a five-year deal at Leverkusen, and both club and player were delighted to finally complete the transfer into Bundesliga where he will face several of his Chile teammates: Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich), Marcelo Diaz (Hamburg), Gonzalo Jara (Mainz) and Miiko Albornoz (Hannover).
"The Bundesliga is one of the best and most attractive leagues in the world, and Bayer Leverkusen have been among the top clubs for years," Aranguiz told Leverkusen's official website. "My Chile teammate Arturo Vidal has raved about Bayer, that's why I wanted to join the club by all means."
Leverkusen finished fourth last season, and over the next fortnight face Lazio in the Champions League playoffs. Aranguiz added that the prospect of playing in Europe's biggest club competition was another reason for opting for Leverkusen over Leicester.
"Leverkusen have been part of it [Champions League] almost every year, and we want to return this season," he added. "I am looking forward to the new huge challenge in another country."
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Leverkusen sporting executive Rudi Voller greeted the transfer with enthusiasm.
"He has shown for Chile especially what a terrific footballer he is. The hard-running and aggressive style of play of that team resembles ours," he said. "Aranguiz has proven that he's a strategically skilled pace setter. He will increase the quality of our squad, and we have signed the player we wanted all along for our midfield."
He is Leverkusen's sixth major reinforcement of the summer. Germany international Christoph Kramer has returned from a loan at Borussia Monchengladbach, Andre Ramalho joined on a free transfer from Salzburg, and the club also spent a total of €20m on Jonathan Tah (Hamburg), Admir Mehmedi (Freiburg) and Kyriakos Papadopoulos (Schalke).
The deal also pushes Bundesliga clubs past the 2012 transfer record, now having invested close to €300m with the transfer window closing on Aug. 31.