Bundesliga leaders Schalke 04 appear to be the new favourites to land in-demand Arminia Bielefeld defender Heiko Westermann.
The talented youngster, who is tied to his club until 2008, looked bound for Borussia Dortmund, but the Royal-Blues have now jumped ahead of their arch-rivals after holding talks with the player.
Schalke's team manager is convinced that the prospect of playing UEFA Champions League football next season might give his team the edge to win his signature.
"Nothing is settled yet, but we had a very good meeting and he is interested in joining us," declared Andreas Muller.
While Schalke are currently leading the Bundesliga table five points ahead of Stuttgart, Borussia Dortmund are stuck in mid-table.