FC Schalke 04 are edging closer to a deal for VfB Stuttgart defender Ozan Kabak, despite strong interest from Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich and Italian giants AC Milan.
The Turkey international earned a reputation as one of the division's finest centre backs, despite being unable to prevent his side from being relegated to Bundesliga 2 after a 16th-place finish last season - and coming up short in the relegation playoffs.
Such were the impressive nature of his performances, the 19-year-old caught the eye of league champions Bayern, as well as Milan also credited with firm interest in the youngster.
Nevertheless, both sides appear to have been pipped to the post by Schalke, after 'multiple sources' in Germany, via Calcio Mercato, claim that a move is near completion.
The report claims that Die Königsblauen's club director Michael Reschke has been pivotal to the transfer, after he initially took Kabak to Stuttgart from Galatasaray in January on this year, working on the contract which included a €15m release clause. With Reschke now working for Schalke, his presence is said to have aided Kabak's decision to move to Gelsenkirchen.
Going one further, Sky Sport Italy journalist Fabrizio Romano has stated that the move is a 'done deal' with the starlet expected to put pent to paper on the deal 'soon'.
It sparks a remarkable rise for Turk, who in just six months in the Bundesliga managed to attract the attention of some major European sides - despite suffering relegation with Stuttgart. While the opportunity arose to join more prestigious sides, the allure of first-team football is said to have played a major role in Kabak's decision.