Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Mark van Bommel joins AC Milan

Bayern Munich have confirmed the transfer of their captain Mark van Bommel to AC Milan with immediate effect.

The 33-year-old had his wish of a contract termination accepted by the Bundesliga club to enable him to join the Rossoneri.

"I am leaving FC Bayern with a heavy heart, but with my head held high," said the Dutch midfielder in a statement.

"I had four and a half wonderful and successful years here and would like to express my gratitude to the club and the fans.

"FC Bayern will always have a place in my heart."

Earlier, today Van Bommel had thanked Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge for allowing him to open negotiations with the Serie A side and leave the club six months before his contract was due to expire.

"I am a proud captain and the club has not laid anything in my way," he told Sport1 television.

"I am very happy with the way Mr Rummenigge has treated me, that deserves respect."

Bayern had not made their captain an offer for a contract extension beyond the end of the season, and Rummenigge admitted it was only fair to let him consider other options.

"It was Mark's expressed request to be released from his contract immediately to be able to transfer to AC Milan for sporting reasons," said Rummenigge in a statement.

"Mark was always a role model, an important and successful player for FC Bayern and, more than that, he was an exceptional captain.

"Given his service to the club, we accepted Mark's request."

Van Bommel joined Bayern from Barcelona in 2006 and was made their captain in 2008 when Oliver Kahn retired.

He made a total of 122 appearances for the Bavarians, leading them out for last season's Champions League final against Inter Milan having lifted the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal trophies at the end of one of the club's most successful seasons ever.

He retained the captain's armband this season and made 13 appearances, the last of which came last weekend in the 5-1 win over Kaiserslautern.

Van Bommel is now set to undergo a medical in Milan and should be available for their Serie A clash with Catania on Saturday.

His move to Serie A could also see him win a league title in a fourth country having succeeded four times with PSV Eindhoven in Holland, once with Barcelona in Spain and twice in Germany with Bayern.