Chelsea hope to sign a new centre-back in the summer and have instructed scouts to keep a close eye on Bayern Munich's Niklas Sule.
Finding a young, experienced centre-back has been high on Chelsea's to-do list ever since the closure of the current transfer window, with the Blues keen to find someone to anchor their defence for the foreseeable future.
In Thomas Tuchel's first two games at Chelsea, he used a back three full of ageing players. Thiago Silva is 36, while Cesar Azpilicueta is 31 and Antonio Rudiger is the youngest of the trio at 27, so plans are understandably being made for the future.
RB Leipzig's Dayot Upamecano is on Chelsea's radar, and according to Sport Bild, Tuchel wants the club to consider a move for Sule, who has just 18 months remaining on his contract at the Allianz Arena.
Sule has lost his place in Bayern's starting lineup this season, starting just eight of the team's 19 Bundesliga games, and Bayern fear that may leave him hesitant to sign a new deal. If he does not extend, Sule is expected to be sold in the summer for a fee of around £27m, similar to the deal which took Thiago to Liverpool.
"It is of course also nice for us when other clubs are interested in our players," Bayern boss Hansi Flick said (via Metro) when asked about the rumour. "At the moment, the defence is doing very well and Niklas is definitely an option, both in central defence and as a full-back.
"Niklas is a very fast player, who is very good on the ball, detached and with the ability to make an impact on the game from the back. His physical attributes are an absolute strength. That’s why I’m glad he’s in my team.
"He has a contract with us until 2022. We will see how the situation develops, how and where he sees his future."
Fellow Bayern man David Alaba is also believed to be on Chelsea's radar, with the Blues prepared to ignore their plan to sign a younger defender if it means landing someone of the Austrian's pedigree on a free transfer.
Alaba has just six months left on his contract and is widely expected to leave in the summer, with Real Madrid rumoured to be leading the race for his signature.