Charles Aranguiz says a positive appraisal of Bayer Leverkusen by Arturo Vidal convinced him to sign for the Bundesliga side and join his Chile international team-mate in Germany’s top flight.
Leverkusen announced on Thursday that Aranguiz has signed a five-year contract.
The 26-year-old has won 40 caps for Chile and was part of the team which won the Copa America last month by beating Argentina on penalties in the final.
Bayer Leverkusen shelled out a 12 million fro Aranguiz
The defensive midfielder scored twice in a 5-0 group win against Bolivia before netting in the penalty shootout victory over Argentina and Leverkusen are reported to have spent 12 million euros (US$13.3m) on him.
He has signed from Brazilian club Internacional, who reached the semi-finals of South America’s Copa Libertadores last season.
Aranguiz hopes to play in the European equivalent, the Champions League, if Bayer Leverkusen beat Lazio over two legs in their play-off tie for a place in the group stages.
Bayern Munich’s ex-Juventus star Vidal spent five years with Bayer from 2007-11 and he convinced Aranguiz to sign for Leverkusen.
Arturo Vidal has raved about Bayer 04 – Aranguiz
“The Bundesliga is one of the best and most attractive leagues in the world and Bayer has been out of the top teams for many years,” said Aranguiz.
“My national team-mate Arturo Vidal has raved about Bayer 04, so I definitely wanted to go to this club.
“In addition, this is a great opportunity to play Champions League football with Leverkusen.
“They almost always qualified for it in previous years and we want to do that again this time.
“I am looking forward to the big challenge of playing in another country.”
Aranguiz will slot into the defensive midfield alongside Germany international Christoph Kramer in a new-look Leverkusen midfield with Gonzalo Castro having joined Borussia Dortmund, Simon Rolfes has retired and Stefan Reinartz has joined Eintracht Frankfurt.
Premier League side Leicester City were also reported to have been interested in signing him.
“We are happy that our perseverance has paid off with Charles Aranguiz having chosen to join us,” said Leverkusen’s managing director Michael Schade.
“Our efforts to sign him weren’t made any easier by his exceptional performances for his club and country, so it’s all the better that we were able to prevail against strong international competition.”