Philipp Wollscheid has left Stoke to join Ligue 1 side Metz on a three-year deal, the French club have announced.
The 28-year-old joined Stoke from Mainz in January 2015, initially on loan but doing enough to earn a permanent move to the Potteries that summer.
He made a total of 56 appearances for the club but has fallen down the pecking order, spending part of last season on loan at Wolfsburg.
The Potters' recruitment this summer of Kevin Wimmer, Bruno Martins Indi and Kurt Zouma confirmed his time at Stoke was over.
No fee has been announced for his move to Metz but the French club announced he had agreed a contract until 2020.
"A reinforcement of substance for Les Grenats who will bring his experience of the highest level, he is known for positioning and his strength,'' the club said in a statement.
"The neo-Messin also has the advantage of perfectly mastering the language of Moliere which should aid his integration.''