Bayern München have smoothed the path for Jan Kirchhoff's departure after omitting the reported Sunderland target from their training camp in Qatar.
The 25-year-old defender has been linked with a move to the Premier League and the Stadium of Light during this month's transfer window after failing to break into the first-team set-up at Bayern this term.
Kirchhoff returned to the Allianz Arena during the off-season after spending the previous 18 months on loan at Bundesliga rivals Schalke 04.
However, the Frankfurt youth product has been unable to displace Jerome Boateng, Javi Martinez and Holger Badstuber in defence for the Bavarians, who have confirmed he is currently negotiating a potential switch to an unnamed club, thought to be the Black Cats.
A statement on the defending league champions' official website said: "The travelling party does not include Jan Kirchhoff, who is away with his agent concluding negotiations for a possible transfer."