The 22-year-old midfielder has signed a five-year deal until June 2021 with the Green-Whites, which sees Gerhardt follow Daniel Didavi and Josip Brekalo to Wolfsburg.
“Yannick Gerhardt is a young player with masses of potential,” said Wolfsburg sporting director Klaus Allofs. “With Cologne, he has proven he has the quality to make a mark in the Bundesliga.
“We are delighted to have been able to convince a player with his talent in our direction.”
A future national team footballer
Gerhardt can operate in midfield, whilst he has played at left-back for the Germany U21 side.
Having come through the youth academy in Köln, Gerhardt went on to play 45 Bundesliga matches for the Billy Goats, scoring three goals under Peter Stöger.
Despite the transfer fee being undisclosed, reports in the German media suggest that the fee is believed to be around €13 million.
Wolfsburg finished eighth in the Bundesliga, missing out on a place in Europe following a poor campaign under Dieter Hecking.
“I want to help the team to break back into the top group of teams in the Bundesliga next season and establish themselves there for the long haul,” Gerhardt told vfl-wolfsburg.de. “Discussions with Klaus Allofs and Dieter Hecking convinced me that VfL will provide me with the best chances of developing as a footballer.”
Home is where the Dom is
Gerhardt became a fan favourite in Köln following his die-hard attitude and impressive performances under Stöger.
“I am thankful for the training staff, executives, and my teammates for trusting me as a young player and for giving me the opportunity to develop into a professional at my hometown club,” Gerhardt told the clubs website. “Köln and its fans will always hold a special place for me.
“It was a difficult decision for me to leave FC, but I am hoping to take the next step in my development by transferring to Wolfsburg and I am thankful to FC for allowing me to do so.”