Cologne have confirmed the signing of defender Christian Eichner from Hoffenheim for an undisclosed fee.
Eichner had been lined up for a move to the Bundesliga strugglers after failing to secure regular first-team football at Hoffenheim this season.
His contract was due to expire next summer and the 28-year-old has now agreed a deal with Cologne for the rest of this campaign.
He will join his new team-mates in their winter training camp in Turkey immediately, although the deal cannot officially go through until the transfer market reopens in January.
"We are glad we have been able to complete the transfer of Christian Eichner," said Cologne's general manager Claus Horstmann on his club's official website.
"Christian was our No.1 target for the left-hand side of our defence. We are convinced that he will take us forwards."
Eichner, who has played a part in only four Bundesliga matches for Hoffenheim this season, is Cologne's second new signing this winter following goalkeeper Michael Rensing.
He will be bidding to help lift the club from the 16th place they currently occupy and away from relegation danger in 2011.