Bayern Munich are eyeing a move for Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen after Niklas Sule rejected an offer to extend his contract.
GOAL and SPOX can confirm centre-back Sule will leave the German giants this summer when his contract expires, despite Bayern’s offer to raise his salary to €10 million.
Sule is flirting with a move to the Premier League and La Liga and can enter negotiations with other clubs this month before making a free transfer at the end of the season.
Where could Sule end up?
Newcastle and Chelsea are reportedly sounding out the German defender, but Sport1 has reported he is not interested in joining the former.
Meanwhile, Barcelona are also said to be interested in signing the 26-year-old as they look to strengthen in defence.
Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn confirmed at a press conference that Sule will not continue his career in Bavaria next season.
“He didn't accept our offer,” said Kahn. “We have a certain responsibility for the offers we make. It's normal that you don't always come together in this business.”
Kahn added that Bayern's offer was “Very, very good” and that Sule's decision to leave became apparent over the past few days.
Sule will become the fourth player to leave the club on a free transfer within the last year, following the examples of David Alaba, Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez.
Who could replace Sule at Bayern?
GOAL and SPOX understand Christensen is one of the contenders Bayern will turn to in their search for a replacement.
Like Sule, Christensen can make a free transfer in the summer when his contract expires.
Chelsea have been trying to tie him to an extension and a new four-year deal looked imminent last year, but talks have been fraught with problems.
Coach Thomas Tuchel urged him to show his commitment to the club by signing on the dotted line, telling reporters in December: "We are waiting since a long time now for confirmation.
“It is on Andreas to act how he acts on the pitch, he needs to act now off the pitch, and walk the talk because he tells us that he loves Chelsea, he tells us that he wants to stay and be a big part, because he is a big part of a big club, and I think he is a perfect fit and I think that he is not done yet here.”