Bayern Munich manager Hansi Flick has confirmed Niklas Sule has a place in his plans despite links with Chelsea.
Wednesday’s European papers suggested Chelsea had added Sule to their transfer wishlist for the summer.
Thomas Tuchel is on the lookout for a new defender and is working with a three-man shortlist – with all the players currently featuring in his native Germany.
The 25-year-old featured little last season, but has already played in 12 Bundesliga matches and four in the Champions League this time around.
The German international is only under contract until 2022. So, unless Bayern can convince him to stay, he might be available for a discount.
But Bayern boss Flick has confirmed that Sule – who has only started two of their last six league games – is still in his thinking.
“Niklas is an absolute option, whether in the centre or full-back position,” said Flick (via Goal).
“He did well at Schalke [in a 4-0 win last month when Sule played at right-back]. Don’t forget that he had a long injury.
“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.
“We will see how everything develops and how he sees his future. I am satisfied with his development, you can rely on him.”
Chelsea chasing full-back
While Sule can play as a full-back, he is mainly a centre-back. With that in mind, Chelsea are also reportedly looking to strengthen the wider areas of their defence.
Reports earlier this week suggested they are willing to pay €50m for one of their targets, who is enjoying a prolific season in Serie A.
What’s more, the club in question may be forced to sell – giving Chelsea hope of a summer deal.