Demirbay shuns Arsenal & Liverpool links to make €28m Leverkusen move

The Hoffenheim star will link up with a Bundesliga rival at the end of the season, potentially casting doubt over Julian Brandt's future

Bayer Leverkusen have announced the signing of attacking midfielder Kerem Demirbay from fellow Bundesliga side Hoffenheim.

Demirbay, who joined Hoffenheim from Hamburg in 2016, has scored four Bundesliga goals for Julian Nagelsmann's side this term, providing eight assists, and has signed a five-year deal with Leverkusen for a fee reported to be around €28 million (£24m/$31m).

The news that Leverkusen have bolstered their midfield contingent may, however, cast further doubt over Julian Brandt's future, with Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich all reportedly interested in the 23-year-old, while Kai Havertz has also been linked with a move away.

Demirbay had been mooted as a target for other sides across Europe.

Liverpool and Premier League rivals Arsenal were said to have shot admiring glances in his direction at various stages.

His creativity will, however, be staying in the German top-flight.

"This is the next chapter after three great years at Hoffenheim," Demirbay told Leverkusen's official website.

"Leverkusen play really attractive attacking football. Their style suits mine and I’m really looking forward to becoming a part of this team."

Germany international Demirbay will officially join Leverkusen at the end of the campaign, and will wear the number 26 shirt.

Demirbay made five appearances for Hoffenheim in the Champions League this season, and could well find himself back in Europe's elite club competition next term, with Leverkusen - who sit fifth in the Bundesliga - pushing for the final qualification spot.

“This is a clear sign of our ambition,” said Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller.

“We have a lot planned for the coming season but first we want to qualify for Europe. If we do that. We’ll need quality players like Kerem Demirbay.”