Real Madrid are reportedly ready to rival Chelsea in pursuit of Bayern Munich defender Niklas Sule who will be a free agent in the summer.

According to a report from Fichajes, Real Madrid and Chelsea could be set to enter a transfer war for the signing of Niklas Sule, whose contract with Bayern Munich is set to expire at the end of the season.

Sule has been with the Bavarian giants since the summer of 2017 when he arrived from boyhood club TSG Hoffenheim. Having had to bide his time to become a regular, the German centre-back has grown into an important member of the team, while his game also has improved quite a fair bit over the past couple of years.

The 26-year-old has racked up 155 appearances for Bayern Munich, scoring six goals and registering four assists. Sule has been a regular in the side this season under new manager Julian Nagelsmann. But his future at the club beyond the ongoing campaign has become a subject of intense speculation.

Sule’s contract with Bayern Munich runs out at the end of the 2021/22 season. Talks over a new deal are being held, but the towering defender’s situation has alerted several top clubs who are interested in luring him away from the Allianz Arena on a free transfer, with Chelsea among those interested.

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The Blues are staring at the prospect of a significant defensive overhaul in the summer with four of their key centre-backs – Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta – out of contract next year. While it is unlikely that the reigning champions of Europe will lose all four, there could be at least one exit, which will require Thomas Tuchel to dip his toes into the market for a replacement.

Several defenders have been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, with Sule also emerging as an option. However, they will have to stave off competition from Real Madrid. Los Blancos snared away David Alaba from Bayern Munich on a free transfer earlier this summer and are planning to repeat the trick with Sule.

Having lost Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane in the summer, the Merengues brought in just one defender. And even though Eder Militao has been brilliant this season, there is not much depth beyond the Brazilian and Alaba. With Nacho Fernandez also not getting any younger, adding another top defender makes sense. 

Interestingly, Chelsea’s Rudiger has been heavily tipped to sign for Real Madrid. However, the report mentioned above states that the Merengues might prefer a move for Sule, who is two years younger and looks better suited to playing in a four-person backline. It remains to be seen if Sule ends up sealing a move to Spain or England or decides to extend his stay in Bavaria.

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