Heiko Westermann looks set to join Hamburg after leaving pre-season training with Schalke.
The Germany international had been linked with a move to Sunderland after catching the eye with a string of impressive performances in the Bundesliga, but it now seems domestic rivals Hamburg have won the chase for his signature.
After initially returning to pre-season training with Schalke, Westermann travelled to Hamburg on Monday evening to finalise the details of his transfer.
He will now undergo a medical and Schalke boss Felix Magath expects the switch to be finalised in the near future.
"Heiko has quit our training camp as he is on his way to go to Hamburg," Magath told Deutsche Presseagentur.
"The paperwork is still missing the signatures, but I am confident this will go through in time.
"I was very much unwilling to accept his transfer, looking at things from the viewpoint of a manager.
"In the end I have agreed to this transfer due to the overall situation of our club. I was unable to guarantee him first-team football as he was wanting to play in the centre of defence, which is his ideal position."
Westermann, who missed out on the World Cup due to injury, is believed to have cost Hamburg around £6.5million.