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BERLIN, Feb 2 (Reuters) - VfL Wolfsburg, trying to establish themselves as Bayern Munich’s main title rivals this season, swooped to sign Germany’s World Cup-winning forward Andre Schuerrle from Chelsea on a four-and-a-half-year deal on Monday.
The Bundesliga high-flyers announced the transfer in a brief statement on their Twitter feed but did not reveal any financial details. According to media reports, the fee was a club record 30 million euros ($34 million).
Schuerrle played a major role in Germany’s World Cup triumph last year.
He set up Mario Goetze for the winning goal in the final against Argentina and scored twice against Brazil in a 7-1 semi-final drubbing of the hosts.
The 24-year-old, however, failed to earn a regular starting place at Stamford Bridge this season.
He struggled with form and fitness and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho opted to play Oscar, Eden Hazard and Willian just behind central striker Diego Costa.
Schuerrle scored a total of 14 goals in 65 appearances for the Blues.
“We thank Andre for his efforts and wish him the very best of luck for the future,” Chelsea said on their website (www.chelseafc.com).
Mourinho acted quickly to replace him on Monday, signing Colombia winger Juan Cuadrado from Fiorentina on a four-and-a-half-year contract.
Schuerrle’s move had been on the cards for several days with striker Ivica Olic leaving Wolfsburg for Hamburg SV last week, paving the way for the switch.
Wolfsburg, German champions in 2009, are second in the Bundesliga. They are eight points behind Bayern Munich, the team they crushed 4-1 on Friday.
Schuerrle, who has won 42 caps for Germany and scored 17 goals, joined Chelsea in 2013 from Bayer Leverkusen.
He started his career at Mainz 05 and made his Bundesliga debut for the club against Leverkusen on the opening day of the 2009-10 campaign.
He joined Leverkusen in 2011, going on to score 18 goals in 65 league appearances for them.
$1 = 0.8824 euros Editing by Tony Jimenez