Kirchhoff - whose contract at the German giants was due to expire in the summer - has become Sam Allardyce's first signing of the January transfer window and has signed an eighteen month deal for a fee rumoured to be around £730,000.
Sam Allardyce confirmed this afternoon in his weekly press conference that Kirchhoff was all but signed, and was at the Academy finalising details and training with his new team mates.
Sam also added that by signing the giant German it had all but ended his interest in Steven Caulker - the England international has found playing time limited whilst on loan at Southampton this season and it's believed that he may be allowed to move elsewhere in order to play regular football.
After finalising the signing, Allardyce told safc.com;
Jan has a very good pedigree and even though he is still relatively young he has experience of football at the highest level, including the UEFA Champions League.
He has real versatility as a player, being comfortable in both the centre back and midfield roles. He is desperately keen to experience the Premier League and our job now is to do everything we can to help him settle and adapt quickly to life in English football, so he can have a positive impact on our squad.
Kirchhoff has been plagued by injuries for much of his career. After undergoing surgery early last year on his Achilles tendon the giant centre back has found his playing time limited at the Bundesliga champions, and has been understandably keen to move elsewhere in order to find regular playing time.
Schalke chief Horst Heldt said that Kirchhoff 'can play at centre back or defensive midfield, is superb in the air, has a good passing game and is strong in duels', all traits that I feel a defender playing in the Premier League requires to be successful.
Now that Sam Allardyce is in charge of transfer dealings, Kirchhoff represents our first piece of incoming business since Lee Congerton left the club. Personally, I completely trust Sam's judgement and given the fact he's been so successful in the transfer market elsewhere I am confident that Kirchhoff will be a good signing for the club.
Here's hoping that Jan can hit the ground running and be a huge asset to our squad as we look to move out of the Premier League relegation zone.
Want to know more about Sunderland's latest signing? Read @GHSAFC91's scout report of the player here.