Van Bommel completes transfer to Bayern Munich

August 28, 2006

BERLIN, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Bayern Munich said on Monday Dutch midfielder Mark van Bommel had signed a three-year contract with the Bundesliga champions, completing a move from Barcelona worth a reported six million euros ($7.7 million).

Van Bommel, 29, passed a medical on Monday and will begin training with his new colleagues on Tuesday, Bayern said in a statement on their Web site.

At a news conference in Munich, the Dutch international said it had not been an easy decision to leave Barcelona after just one year in which they won the Spanish championship and the Champions League.

He said his priority now would be to ensure Bayern retained their German league and cup titles.

'Then let's see what we can do in Europe,' he said. 'Bayern always has a strong team that allows it to perform well there.'

The Bavarians have long had an eye on Van Bommel as a replacement for Germany captain Michael Ballack, who left at the end of last season on a free transfer to Chelsea.

The club has made it clear, however, that Van Bommel's arrival will not clear the way for England international midfielder Owen Hargreaves to move to Manchester United.

Before moving to Barcelona, Van Bommel played for PSV Eindhoven. He made his debut for the Dutch national team in October 2000.