Chelsea have begun discussions to sign Bayern Munich central defender Niklas Sule, according to reports in Germany.
The blues have already registered their interest in RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano, but they face huge competition from Bayern and Liverpool.
According to SportBild, Chelsea have Sule on their shortlist and the London side have already held initial negotiations with the player’s representatives.
The report also claims that Bayern Munich will look to sell Sule in the summer window if he refuses to extend his current contract, which will expire next year.
The Bundesliga champions are reportedly looking for a fee around £26.4m for Sule. It’s also believed that the German star is attracted by the idea of moving to the Premier League.
However, Sule has struggled for playing time this campaign, starting only eight matches for Bayern in the Bundesliga.
Speaking last week, Bayern manager Hansi Flick confirmed his most preferred defensive pairing: ‘Boateng and Alaba are set at the moment. ‘Niki brings us stability on the defensive and one more option.’
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Chelsea, meanwhile, are well-stocked with options in central defence with Thiago Silva, Antonio Rudiger, Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen. And Fikayo Tomori is also on loan at AC Milan.
When asked directly about Sport Bild’s report at his press conference on Wednesday, Flick said: ‘It is of course also nice for us when other clubs are interested in our players.
‘At the moment, the defence is doing very well and Niklas is definitely an option, both in central defence and as a full-back.’
‘I’m very happy with his development,’ the Bayern manager added. ‘Niklas is a very fast player, who is very good on the ball, detached and with the ability to make an impact on the game from the back.
‘His physical attributes are an absolute strength. That’s why I’m glad he’s in my team. ‘He has a contract with us until 2022. We will see how it develops, how and where he sees his future.’