Borussia Dortmund have confirmed defender Mats Hummels will join Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich in the summer.
The 27-year-old is regarded as one of Europe’s best central defenders, and has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United over the past 12 months.
Specilation has surrounded the German international for weeks after reports claimed he was ready to hand in a transfer request to force an exit from the eight-time German champions.
But a move back to Bayern, where he started his career as a youth player, was his chosen destination, with Dortmund revealing on Tuesday the deal has been finalised.
Hummels has signed a five-year deal, subject to a medical, with reports claiming the clubs have agreed €38million (£30m) fee.
Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on his club’s website: “We’re delighted that Mats Hummels has decided to join Bayern. Mats is one of the best central defenders in the world and we’re able to improve the quality of our team even further with him.”
Hummels follows Robert Lewandowski and Mario Gotze in leaving Dortmund for Bayern in recent seasons.
The centre-back won two Bundesliga titles, one German Cup and a World Cup with Germany during his time at Dortmund, and was also a key member of the team which progressed to the 2013 Champions League final.
Despite his honours with the club, however, he has been the target of abuse from Dormund fans in recent weeks after news emerged of his wish to re-join fierce rivals Bayern.
Hummels has the chance to end his Dortmund career with silverware, as the side take on his future employers in the German Cup final on May 21, and Watzke urged fans to support the player as he prepares for his final games in a yellow and black shirt.
“I want to emphasize that he has at any time behaved openly and fairly towards us,” the Dortmund chief added.
“We respect Mats’ decision and wish that he gets the recognition he deserves during his last weeks and he leaves Dortmund with the DFB Cup in his hands.”
Hummels added: “I have not made my decision after eight and a half successful years at BVB easily. I was always proud and still am, to wear the BVB jersey and to be part of this exceptional team.
“Before I return to my hometown in the summer, we have a large, common goal: to once again to bring the DFB Cup to Dortmund and with the BVB fans to celebrate a huge festival of football.
“For that I will give everything just like my teammates. I wholeheartedly thank my teammates, all the staff and fans for this long and wonderful time in black and yellow.”