By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Confirmed: Union return Heintz to Köln

FC Köln officially welcomed back defender Dominique Heintz early on Thursday evening. 
The sale of 1. FC Union Berlin defender Dominique Heintz to 1. FC Köln is through. Both clubs confirmed a permanent transfer early on Thursday evening. Germany's Kicker Magazine reports that the actual transfer fee paid to Union was negligible, though performance-related bonuses are reported by Kicker to be part of the package.

In any event, Heintz returns to the club he made 108 appearances for between 2015 and 2018. The 30-year-old signs a one-year-deal with the cathedral city's "Geißböcke" and will almost certainly make his official 200th Bundesliga appearance in a Köln tricot soon. Heintz, who has also played for Freiburg and Kaiserslautern, most recently featured on loan for Bochum last spring.

"Despite my departure, the club has always remained something special for me," Heintz noted in a Köln press release, "I have very good memories of my time at FC. In addition, my family and I have always felt very comfortable here. When the opportunity arose to play for FC again, it was immediately clear to me that I wanted to do that and help the team play a successful season."

"Dominique played a big part in our successful qualification for the Europa League after his transfer in the winter of 2022," FCU managing director Oliver Ruhnert noted in his own statement, "We are very grateful to him for that. Even after his return from Bochum, he never let himself down. We have now complied with his wish to transfer and wish him all the best for the future."

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