Free agent Matthew Leuenberger has officially joined Essendon, after Brisbane opted not to match the Bombers' offer.

The Lions received compensation pick No. 39 from the AFL for losing Leuenberger to the Bombers through free agency.

"He can't play on here in the position he wants to play, so we were happy for him to explore other options - although we still would have expected better compensation for him," Lions' CEO Greg Swann told the club's website.

"At the end of the day we want to make sure things work out for him, given his service to the Club, and we wish him all the best in the future."

Leuenberger joins the Dons on a three-year deal.