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Bayer Leverkusen sign midfielder Julian Baumgartlinger from Mainz

Bayer Leverkusen have announced the signing of Austria international Julian Baumgartlinger from Mainz on a four-year deal.

Baumgartlinger, 28, will join the club this summer after making 124 Bundesliga appearances for Mainz.

The midfielder, a member of his country's 2016 Euro squad, has impressed for Mainz with his physicality as well as his passing game. However, Baumgartlinger has struggled in front of the goal, and only opened his account for his old club in February.

He had been under contract at Mainz until 2019, but Leverkusen activated the holding midfielder's €4 million buyout clause.

"He's a character player with leadership qualities. He's ambitious, physically strong and has strategic skills," Leverkusen sporting executive Rudi Voller told the club's official website. "He will lift the level of our team, and increase the competition."

Baumgartlinger said that he was happy to make the step "to the established Champions League club Bayer Leverkusen."

He added: "At this level I want to measure myself with the best clubs and players in Europe. I am very happy that I get this chance at Leverkusen."

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.

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