Chelsea could reportedly be given a second chance at snapping up Hoffenheim defender Niklas Sule as his move to Bayern Munich could be under threat.
Speculation over the last month has consistently linked Antonio Conte with a move for a defender in January, but one target that he appeared to miss out on was Sule.
The 21-year-old looked set for a £21m move to Bayern, as noted by The Sun, but with Chelsea’s continued interest, it appears as though Hoffenheim are ready to demand more and that has left Bayern officials livid having believed that they had a deal in place.
That will put his move to Bavaria in jeopardy, while giving Chelsea a chance to swoop in for him with the report adding that the Blues are prepared to spend up to £30m to take him to Stamford Bridge.
Sule is under contract with Hoffenheim until 2019, and so the Bundesliga outfit are in a strong position next month to dictate terms and get the best possible deal for themselves.
Nevertheless, they’ll be keen to avoid losing the young German ace as he has continued to establish himself as a key part of the team with 16 appearances in all competitions so far this season.
Having done enough to impress the likes of Bayern and Chelsea, it tells you all you need to know about his talent level and maturity despite still being so young, and it remains to be seen whether or not Chelsea can effectively out-bid their rivals in the race to sign him.
With John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic set to leave the club at the end of the season, Chelsea need to identify long-term pieces to rebuild their defence.
Given their on-going desire to sign him, Sule seemingly fits the bill and Conte will hope that he can still beat Bayern to his signature next month.