Bayer Leverkusen have completed the signing of sought-after midfielder Charles Aranguiz from Internacional on a five-year deal.
Chelsea and Arsenal were among the clubs linked with the Chile international, who played his part in his country’s recent Copa America success on home soil.
Aranguiz also caught the eye in Brazilian club Internacional’s run to the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores and Leverkusen chief executive Michael Schade rates the signing of the 26-year-old as a considerable coup.
“We are happy and satisfied that our persistence has paid off,” Schade told the club’s official website.
“Our efforts have long been focused on completing this transfer and that has not been made any easier by the player’s outstanding displays both at the Copa and with his club.
“It’s even more pleasing to win out against strong competition from abroad. We were written off in the race to sign Aranguiz. We have reached a fair solution with the Brazilian [club].”
Aranguiz revealed that Bayern Munich new boy Arturo Vidal swayed his decision to move to the BayArena.
He said: “The Bundesliga is one of the best and most attractive leagues in the world and Bayer 04 has been one of the top clubs for years.
“My international team-mate Arturo Vidal raved about Bayer 04 and that’s why I wanted to join this club.
“I also see Leverkusen giving me the big chance of playing in the Champions League. Leverkusen have almost been in it every year and we want to make to the group stage again this year.
“I’m looking forward to this huge challenge in a new country.”
Leverkusen start their Bundesliga campaign at home to Hoffenheim on Saturday.