Soccer-Champions Leverkusen sign midfielder Garcia from Girona

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - LaLiga - FC Barcelona v Girona - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - April 10, 2023 Girona's Aleix Garcia celebrates after the match REUTERS/Albert Gea/File Photo

(Reuters) - Bayer Leverkusen have signed midfielder Aleix Garcia from Spanish side Girona with the 26-year-old signing a five-year deal, the Bundesliga champions said on Thursday.

Garcia was instrumental in a historic season for the Catalans, who achieved their best-ever finish of third in LaLiga, leading his team in 37 appearances as captain with three goals and six assists.

"Aleix Garcia is a player with outstanding strategic ability, his passing is extremely accurate and he plays with great vision from holding midfield," said Leverkusen sporting managing director Simon Rolfes.

"Aleix has leadership quality that will be very valuable to us in the coming years. We are happy we've been able to sign him and he will be an important factor in meeting our ambitious targets."

Garcia made his Spain debut last year in a European Championship qualifier against Cyprus but missed out on Luis de la Fuente's squad for the tournament starting on Friday in Germany.

"I've been thrilled that a club like this has done so much to get me," Garcia said. "Now I definitely want to fulfil all the expectations of me and make my contribution to this team and the club in continuing to be successful."

(Reporting by Janina Nuno Rios in Mexico City; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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