Helmes leaves Leverkusen for Wolfsburg

BERLIN - Germany striker Patrick Helmes has left Bayer Leverkusen for Bundesliga rivals VfL Wolfsburg for an undisclosed fee.

"Patrick transfers to Wolfsburg effective immediately," Leverkusen said in a statement on Monday before adding the player had signed a contract until 2014 with his new club.

Helmes, 26, has been unable to hold down a regular first-team spot at second-placed Leverkusen.

Coach Jupp Heynckes has been starting with Stefan Kiessling recently, with Eren Derdiyok as a second option in attack.

Helmes, who joined Leverkusen in 2008 and has won 13 international caps, is seen as a replacement for former Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko who joined Manchester City this month.

Wolfsburg, the 2009 German champions, are 12th in the league.