Cologne - When a player moves clubs, signing on the dotted line is only a fraction of an altogether more complicated process in Germany's top flight.

bundesliga.com finds out exactly what has to happen before any transfer can be formally completed...

1. Contact

An agreement is reached between the player in question and his new club.

2. Paperwork

The club then sends a request via email or fax to the German Football League (DFL) for the player to be added to the official transfer list. The player and his current club must sign this form.

3. Submission

The forms are examined by the players’ department of the DFL.

4. Registration

If all the requirements have been fulfilled, the player is added to the DFL’s player database.

5. Condition

The transfer can only be finalised once the player is added to the official transfer list.

6. Publication

The transfer list is made available on bundesliga.com.

7. Tying the loose ends

After the player has been added to the transfer list, all documents pertaining to the contract with his new club are submitted by that club to the DFL.

8. Data check

The players’ department of the DFL ensures the documents are complete and correct.

9. Completion

If the contractual documents meet the necessary criteria, they are added to the DFL’s player database.

10. Approval

Once the player has been added by the DFL to his new club’s list of eligible players, he is allowed to play for the club.

11. Confirmation

The updated list of eligible players is then sent to the player’s new club for their records.

12. In the squad

Before his first appearance, the player is included in the matchday squad, which is published online by the match officials and the two clubs.

13. Notification

The German Football Association (DFB) are informed of the player’s eligibility.