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