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.

Bayern München v SS Lazio - UEFA Champions League Round Of 16 Leg Two
MUNICH, GERMANY – MARCH 17: Niklas Süle of FC Bayern München runs with the ball during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between Bayern München and SS Lazio at Allianz Arena on March 17, 2021 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

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.

RB Leipzig v FC Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga
LEIPZIG, GERMANY – APRIL 03: Niklas Suele of FC Bayern Muenchen during the Bundesliga match between RB Leipzig and FC Bayern Muenchen at Red Bull Arena on April 03, 2021 in Leipzig, Germany. Sporting stadiums around Germany remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Stefan Matzke – sampics/Corbis via Getty Images)

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.

West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea - Premier League
WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 26: Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta of Chelsea look on during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea at The Hawthorns on September 26, 2020 in West Bromwich, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

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.

 Keep up to date with all the latest Chelsea news and opinion by following The Chelsea Chronicle’s Twitter account here.

Have something to tell us about this article?