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Klose seals move to leaders Bremen

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BERLIN, Germany (Reuters) -- Bundesliga leaders Werder Bremen have signed Germany striker Miroslav Klose on a four-year contract from struggling Kaiserslautern from the start of next season.

Klose, 25, who burst into the limelight by scoring five goals in Germany's run to the 2002 World Cup final, completed formalities with Werder on Tuesday.

Bremen have agreed to pay the five million euros ($6.2 million), stipulated in the 25-year-old player's contract with his present club Kaiserslautern.

Klose will be replacing Brazilian Ailton, the Bundesliga's top scorer, who is bound for Schalke next season.

The total deal is said to be worth 20 million euros ($24.8 million).

"I'm keen to join an attacking side like Werder," Klose said.

"We are delighted that we have succeeded in signing Miroslav Klose, the centre forward of the German national team. He is one of the best German players and will fit wonderfully into Werder Bremen," said Werder's sports director Klaus Allofs.

Coach Thomas Schaaf agreed Klose would be a great asset for the club.

"After the confirmed loss of Ailton it was important for us to bring a man into our attack who was capable of reaching a similar scoring rate," Schaaf said.

Klose, who scored his first Bundesliga goal against Werder in October 2000, has netted 43 times for Kaiserslautern and scored 16 goals in 35 games for Germany.

Cash-strapped Kaiserslautern started the season with a three point deficit for under-the-counter payments and are looking for new investors.

Copyright 2004 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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