Chelsea have stepped up their interest in Bayern Munich defender Niklas Sule, with Thomas Tuchel said to be keen on landing the 25-year-old this summer.
Sule's contract with the Bundesliga giants is said to expire in June 2022 and, as things stand, the Bavarians have made no efforts to extend his stay beyond then.
Simon Johnson and Raphael Honigstein of the Athletic report that the disconnect between the club's sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic and Hansi Flick has been a huge distraction behind the scenes and has impacted the club's efficiency when it comes to contract renewals - opening the door for Chelsea to make their move.
There will be no shortage of takers for the centre back in the event Bayern put him up for sale this summer and the appeal of a club like Chelsea managed by Tuchel could be of interest to the Germany international.
Sule is said to be relaxed about the situation at present despite his contract running down and Chelsea's interest intensifying. However, RB Leizpig boss Julian Nagelsmann has been linked with Bayern if Flick does leave in the summer, and the pair previously worked together at Hoffenheim.
Chelsea's defensive record has improved since Tuchel's arrival, though Thiago Silva is in the twilight of his career and Cesar Azpilicueta will soon be in that boat too. Question marks remain over the consistency of players like Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger.
Sule has made 32 appearances for Bayern in all competitions this season, with Dayot Upamecano to arrive at the Allianz Arena next season from RB Leipzig. Both Jerome Boateng and David Alaba are set to leave in the summer, so if Sule also departed that would leave the German champions light in central defence.