Official: Bayer Leverkusen sign Chile star Charles Aranguiz

Bayer Leverkusen have completed the signing of sought-after midfielder Charles Aranguiz from Internacional on a five-year deal.

The 26-year-old Chilean has been in fine form of late, helping his club to the Copa Libertadores semi-finals before playing a key role in his country’s victorious Copa America campaign.

Chelsea were among the teams linked with his signature and Leicester City had reportedly tabled a bid but Leverkusen beat them to the punch, much to the delight of CEO Michael Schade.

“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 and Chile team-mate Arturo Vidal, who used to play for Leverkusen, 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 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.