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Dortmund's Sven Bender to join twin Lars at Leverkusen

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LEVERKUSEN, Germany (AP) — Bayer Leverkusen is signing Sven Bender from Bundesliga rival Borussia Dortmund, reuniting the German midfielder with his twin brother Lars, who captains the club.

Leverkusen said on Thursday that the 28-year-old Bender will sign a contract through June 2021 after undergoing a medical examination.

Bender played 158 Bundesliga games for Dortmund after joining from 1860 Munich — where his brother also played — in 2009. He won the Bundesliga with Dortmund in 2011 and 2012, as well as the German Cup in 2012 and 2017.

"After many games against Leverkusen, I know about the strength of the club. And I also know how well Lars feels here," said Bender, who played 224 games in eight years at Dortmund.

Bender said he requested to leave Dortmund in order to get more games. He made only eight appearances last season due to injury and competition for places.

He thanked Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke and sporting director Michael Zorc for accepting his request, despite their preference for him to stay.

Leverkusen did not give financial details. But Kicker magazine reported that the club will pay around 15 million euros ($17 million) for the player, who has made seven appearances for Germany.

"His quality and leadership will do our young team good," Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voeller said.

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