Chelsea have intensified their chase of Bayern Munich defender Niklas Sule, according to The Athletic.
Signing a new centre-back this summer is one of Thomas Tuchel’s main priorities before next season.
Several big names have been brandished around in the past few weeks, but it now seems that Sule is top of the checklist.
The towering 25-year-old has been on the Blues radar for some time and talks over a possible transfer have apparently ramped up.
Sule’s deal with the Bundesliga champions runs out next June, with no indication yet that he will sign an extension.
Sule joined Bayern in 2017 from Hoffenheim for an undisclosed fee and has since made over 100 appearances for the Bavarians.
Hansi Flick gave a glowing review to Goal about the German international.
He said: “Niklas is a fast player who is calm on the ball and helps shape the game from the back. Given his size, he has absolute strength and I’m glad he’s on our team.”
Sule is currently out injured with a torn muscle, with fears over his fitness installed after the centre-half missed nearly seven months of last seen through a variety of problems.
Bayern are already set to lose several key members of their back-line at the end of the campaign.
David Alaba and Jerome Boateng are both out of contract, as their futures now lie outside of the Allianz Arena.
Dayot Upamencano was brought in from RB Leipzig to plug the gap, but Flick may need another if Sule does depart for Stamford Bridge.
This all rests on whether Chelsea can sort out their own defensive situation.
They have five central-defenders on their books already, including Cesar Azpilicueta, with talented players like Fikayo Tomori and Marc Guehi still on loan.
Surely one will have to leave if they are to squeeze Sule in, with Tomori remaining at AC Milan looking like the most probable option.