January 31, 2011 / 6:40 PM / 8 years ago

Germany striker Helmes leaves Leverkusen for Wolfsburg

Bayer Leverkusen's Patrick Helmes celebrates a goal against Atletico Madrid during their Europa League Group B soccer match in Leverkusen December 16, 2010. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany striker Patrick Helmes has left Bayer Leverkusen for Bundesliga rivals VfL Wolfsburg for an undisclosed fee.

“Patrick transfers to Wolfsburg effective immediately,” Leverkusen said in a statement on Monday before adding the player had signed a contract until 2014 with his new club.

Helmes, 26, has been unable to hold down a regular first-team spot at second-placed Leverkusen.

Coach Jupp Heynckes has been starting with Stefan Kiessling recently, with Eren Derdiyok as a second option in attack.

Helmes, who joined Leverkusen in 2008 and has won 13 international caps, is seen as a replacement for former Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko who joined Manchester City this month.

Wolfsburg, the 2009 German champions, are 12th in the league.

Writing by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Tony Jimenez. To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com

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