Wolfsburg today completed the signing of highly-rated Denmark central defender Simon Kjaer on a four-year contract.

The 2009 Bundesliga champions are thought to have beaten a host of European clubs to the signing of 21-year-old Kjaer, who moves from Palermo for an undisclosed fee. Managing director Dieter Hoeness told the club's official website: "Simon is not only a strong, aggressive defender, he also has a good personality on the field. He has the qualities of a leader."

Kjaer was pleased to have joined a club seemingly on the up following the appointment of Steve McClaren as coach and the capture of Germany international Arne Friedrich last week.

"The transfer means I have the chance to play for a top club," he said. "I think this is the right step for me. We have a strong team that can challenge at the top of the Bundesliga. First, I need to secure a regular place."

Kjaer has made 11 appearances for Denmark and was one of the few players to impress for the Nordic nation at the FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa. He joined Palermo from FC Midtjylland in 2008 and went on to become one of the best young defenders in Serie A.

"We have seen him play on several occasions, most recently ... at the World Cup warm-up game against Senegal," Hoeness added.

"It is no secret that we wanted to sign him in the January winter break but Palermo were not ready, at the time, for the change. We are happy that it has all come together now and that he has chosen us."