Borussia Dortmund have made their first signing of 2022 in the form of Bayern Munich defender Niklas Sule.

After a quiet January transfer window, Borussia Dortmund shocked Europe on Monday by announcing the arrival of Niklas Sule. The Bayern Munich defender has opted to join the Black and Yellows on a permanent four-year deal, despite interest from a host of top clubs across Europe, including Real Madrid.

Sule is currently contracted to Bayern Munich until the summer. He is set to remain in Bavaria until the end of the season before starting his new endeavour at Ruhrpott next season.

Due to his expiring contract at Bayern, the German international was a sought-after figure in Europe. Earlier this month, the defender was linked with a move to Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester United, with the three European giants keen on a Bosman deal.

However, it appears the former TSG Hoffenheim starlet prefers to remain in the Bundesliga, perhaps with a view towards the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup. During his negotiations with Bayern, the defender reportedly had problems with a lack of game time in a team brimming with defensive talents like Dayot Upamecano, Lucas Hernandez and Tanguy Nianzou.

Now, he has made the switch to Bayern’s arch rivals Dortmund. “We are pleased that we were able to sign a German national player in Niklas Süle and retain him for four years,” said BVB’s sporting director Michael Zorc upon the announcement of the deal.

His successor Sebastian Kehl, who is believed to have played a major role in convincing the defender, added, “Niklas showed us in personal discussions that he is very interested in Borussia Dortmund. He has a lot of experience, calmness in the build-up game and the necessary physique to take the next step with us from the summer.”

The impending arrival of Sule, though, could lead to the eventual departure of one of Dortmund’s defensive stars in Manuel Akanji. The Swiss international is considered to be the club’s best defender and has been linked with a potential move to the Premier League in the past.

Recent reports suggest Akanji has rejected a contract proposal at Dortmund, which is bound to put a host of top clubs across Europe on red alert. Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel, for one, could be keen on signing the former FC Basel starlet, who has enjoyed immense success in the Bundesliga over the past few years and could be prepared to take the next step in his career this coming summer.

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