WOLFSBURG, Germany (AP) – Wolfsburg signed United States defender John Anthony Brooks for a reported fee of 20 million euros ($22.4 million) from Bundesliga rival Hertha Berlin on Wednesday, a record transfer for an American player.
The fee eclipses the reported $13 million paid by Premier League club Sunderland for striker Jozy Altidore in 2013 from AZ Alkmaar.
Wolfsburg, which only escaped relegation through a playoff, said Brooks would get a contract through 2022.
''The decision to leave my hometown wasn't easy,'' Brooks said in a statement. ''But after talks with (Wolfsburg sporting director) Olaf Rebbe and (coach) Andries Jonker I really wanted to switch to Wolfsburg because they were both able to convince me quickly of their plans.''
Brooks, who was born in Berlin, joined Hertha's youth setup when he was 14 in 2007. He made his debut for the senior team in the second division in the 2012-13 season, going on to make 119 league appearances.
Brooks helped Hertha qualify for the Europa League next season, but his decision to join Wolfsburg means he'll miss out on the tournament, initially at least.
''We don't like losing our own homegrown players but we found a solution that's also to the benefit of Hertha,'' Hertha chief executive Michael Preetz said. ''We wish John all the best for the future.''
Brooks has made 30 appearances for the United States.