Germany U-21 midfielder Emre Can has left European champions Bayern Munich to sign a four-year deal with Bayer Leverkusen, both clubs have confirmed.
With ten full international midfielders at Bayern, the 19-year-old Can was not guaranteed regular first-team football under Munich's new coach Pep Guardiola and so joins Leverkusen who have qualified directly for next season's Champions League. Bayern have an option to buy back Can at the end of his contract.
"Emre Can is one of the biggest talents in German football," said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. "With this step, we want to make sure he gets enough playing practise, for example like Toni Kroos had at Leverkusen, Philipp Lahm at Stuttgart or David Alaba at Hoffenheim."
The trio mentioned all spent only a season away from Bayern, while the length of Can's contract implies he will have an extended stay at the Werkself, who finished third in last season's Bundesliga. Having made his Bundesliga debut in April, Can spent most of last season playing in Bayern's reserves, so is relishing the prospect of playing UEFA Champions League football.
"Bayer Leverkusen is one of the top teams in the Bundesliga and in addition, they will play in the Champions League, so I want to make my contribution to their success next season," said Can.
He is their eighth new signing with Leverkusen having recruited the likes of South Korea striker Heung Min Son from Hamburg and Australia's Robbie Kruse from Duesseldorf. The Bundesliga season starts next Friday when Bayern host Borussia Monchengladbach at Munich's Allianz Arena and Leverkusen host Freiburg the following day.