Tuchel identifies costly No 1 target to replace ageing Chelsea star

Date published: Monday 19th April 2021 3:28 - James Marshment

Leonardo Balerdi, Niklas Sule

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is hoping the Blues back him this summer after identifying Bayern Munich defender Niklas Sule as a priority transfer target.

The German has made a dream start to his tenure as Chelsea boss, leading the club into the FA Cup final and the Champions League semi-finals. They also have risen from 10th place to fifth in Tuchel’s tenure, as they eye qualification for next season’s Champions League.

However, the Blues hope to push for Premier League glory next season, with Tuchel reported to be eyeing a number of key additions. While adding more goals to his side is high on his agenda, he also is keen to bolster his defence.

At the heart of their progress has been an incredible improvement in their defence. Chelsea have kept 14 clean sheets in 19 matches since Tuchel took charge. Indeed, the West Brom home blip included, the Blues have conceded just nine goals in those games.

However, Tuchel wants an even more watertight rearguard next season. As such, The Athletic claims the Blues boss has identified Sule as a priority signing this summer. The state the Germany defender is likely to cost in the region of £30m.

While Sule remains a key performer for Bayern Munich, he’s in the final year of his contract at the Allianz. As such, it’s reported that Bayern could be tempted to sell were a decent bid to come in.

The Athletic also names Sevilla’s Jules Kounde as another option. However, the LaLiga side value the Frenchman at nearer the £60m mark. And while they do need a sale this summer to balance the books, they would seemingly prefer to cash in on Youssef En-Nesyri.

To Chelsea’s delight, however, any move for Sule could be largely financed by the likely sale of Fikayo Tomori to AC Milan. The Chelsea loanee has impressed during a temporary stint at the San Siro and looks likely to make a permanent €25m move.

The report claims Tuchel seems Sule as a perfect long-term replacement for veteran defender Thiago Silva. The Brazilian, signed on a free from PSG last summer, has played 25 times in all competitions last summer. However, at the age of 36, he can’t have too long left at the top.


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Bayern keen to tie Sule down

While Bayern want to tie Sule down to a new deal, failure to agree terms will likely result in his sale.

Bayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says he hopes Sule will commit, but concedes he may get better offers elsewhere.

“We want the good German national players at FC Bayern,” said Rummenigge, as quoted by Spox. “Niklas still has one year of contract.

“We will hold talks and see where they lead. We will look at it seriously and calmly until the summer. Corona [coronavirus] has also caused financial damage to FC Bayern.

“If we find a solution, we are generally happy to extend the contract, but that will only be possible under certain conditions.”

READ MORETuchel reveals demands with positive words over Chelsea extension

 

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