Bayer Leverkusen have completed the signing of Swiss international Josip Drmic from Nurnberg, who was also an Arsenal FC transfer target.
The 21-year-old was the third highest goal scorer in the Bundesliga this season – only three behind Robert Lewandowski. The fact that Nurnberg were relegated, following their defeat against Schalke on the final day, makes this an even more impressive achievement for the Swiss international. Expectedly, his performances for his side didn’t go unnoticed and he was linked with a lot of clubs across Europe – including Arsenal.
The Gunners are expected to spend heavily in the summer transfer window and signing a new striker is Arsene Wenger’s priority. Drmic, who is also versatile to play as a wide-forward, was considered to be among the possible targets for the London club.
Drmic, who joined Nurnberg only a year back from FC Zurich, was expected to leave the club after their relegation to the German second division was confirmed. Bayer Leverkusen, who were also monitoring his progress at the club, have gazumped Arsenal in the race to sign the highly rated youngster. Bayer confirmed the signing earlier today as Sporting Director Rudi Voller expressed his delight at having beaten the competition for his signature.
“We have been able to prevail against strong competition and are glad that Josip Drmic has joined us.
“He is a player that gives us more options in attack. He’s fast, assertive and flexible as he can play on the wing.” – Voller said.
Drmic was faced with mixed emotions following this move, but hoped to play in the Champions League with his new club.
“It’s really bitter for me that I have to leave the club in this way.
“I had, despite the sad season, a great time there but now with Bayer I want to play at the top of the Bundesliga and reach the Champions League.” – Drmic said.
Interestingly Drmic has been signed by Bayer as replacement for Sidney Sam, who was signed by Schalke as a possible replacement for Draxler if he leaves this summer – who is of course an Arsenal target.
— Bayer 04 Leverkusen (@bayer04fussball) May 12, 2014