By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Confirmed: Czech keeper Kovar signs with Leverkusen

Bayer 04 Leverkusen officially confirmed the signing of Manchester United keeper Matej Kovar on Tuesday morning. 
The rumored move of Czech youth international Matej Kovar to Germany's red company team is through. Stephan van Nocks of Germany's preeminent footballing publication, Kicker Magazine, reports that Bayer 04 Leverkusen have paid a base transfer fee of €5 million to Manchester United for the 23-year-old keeper. Van Nocks further notes that this figure could rise as high as €8 million or €9 million with bonuses and that United have secured a buyback option.

Kovar came up through the ranks of the Man United youth academy, but never appeared for the senior team. He accrued playing practice out on loan with Swindon Town, Burton Albion, and (most recently) Sparta Prague. At the price Bayer paid, one assumes that Kovar will displace January signing Patrick Pentz as the new #2 behind regular keeper and captain Lukas Hradecky.

In his statement accompanying the signing, Kovar said he had been persuaded to join Leverkusen after talking the matter over with fellow Czech compatriot Michal Kadlec. The former #1 of the Czech national team played for die Werkself between 2008 and 2013. The youngster credited one of his mentors for the career move.

"Michal not only put the Bundesliga on my heart, but Bayer 04 Leverkusen in particular" Kovar said, "He painted a very pretty picture of this club. I am very excited about the quality of this team. What I've looked at so far makes me heat into the coming years with eager anticipation."

"Matej Kovar is tall, strong in direct duels and equipped with very good footballing skills," B04 sporting director Simon Rolfes added, "He is a player with great prospects from whom we expect a lot in the coming years."

Kovar's new contract runs through 2027.

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