The Hard Tackle takes a look at three potential destinations for Bayern Munich’s wantaway defender Niklas Sule next season.

While the January transfer window might be done and dusted, European clubs have already begun their preparations for the upcoming summer transfer window that could witness a slew of players leaving on a free transfer.

One of the most sought after players in the transfer market right now is Niklas Sule. The Bayern Munich defender’s contract is expiring at the end of the season, with the defender recently confirming his desire to leave the club in search of a new challenge elsewhere.

Having won almost everything at Bayern Munich, including a treble in the 2019/20 campaign, Niklas Sule has unsurprisingly attracted a lot of interest. Several major European clubs are keeping close tabs on his situation, hoping to land him on a free transfer next summer.

Bayern Munich themselves are in the market for a replacement, having been linked with a move for Antonio Rudiger and Nico Schlotterbeck, among many others. Here at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over potential destinations for Niklas Sule next season as he prepares for a new adventure abroad.

Chelsea

Rock at the back! (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Set for a move to England? (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Chelsea remain the prime destination for Niklas Sule as he braces himself for the next step in his career. Coach Thomas Tuchel is believed to be an admirer of the Bayern Munich defender, who is typically known for his imposing frame and no-nonsense defensive mentality.

During his time in the Bundesliga, Tuchel had closely followed Sule’s rapid rise to prominence at TSG Hoffenheim. The German tactician has absolutely no reason not to go after the defender next summer, especially amid uncertainties over the long-term future of the club’s current crop of centre-backs.

Indeed, the contracts of Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen are all set to expire at the end of the season, potentially leading to a mass exodus of defenders. In an attempt to mitigate the losses, Chelsea could make a move for Niklas Sule.

With over 200 appearances in the Bundesliga, the German has no shortage of experience at the highest level, while he can offer the winning mentality to the Chelsea side that will look to take on Manchester City for the league title. Sule’s physical prowess, coupled with his aerial qualities and pace, could make him a perfect fit for Premier League – and particularly Tuchel’s Chelsea – as the German manager looks to build the core of the new-look Chelsea defence next season.

FC Barcelona

MUNICH, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 24: Niklas Suele of Bayern Muenchen looks down after the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Fortuna Duesseldorf at Allianz Arena on November 24, 2018 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Niklas Sule’s time at Bayern is up. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images)

FC Barcelona is another potential destination for Niklas Sule, given the Catalan outfit’s recent record of targeting free agents all over Europe. From a sporting perspective, a move to Barcelona from Bayern Munich could be a downgrade. The Blaugrana are not in a position to guarantee sporting success, nor can they offer an attractive wage for the German international.

However, Sule will have the exciting opportunity of becoming a future defensive leader for one of the biggest clubs in Europe. The Catalans are desperately looking for new centre-backs, as Gerard Pique is in the final phase of his career. His eventual retirement would leave a massive void in the club’s defensive unit.

Ronald Araujo has enjoyed a rapid rise to prominence lately. The youngster seems destined to become a key asset for Barcelona in the coming years. And the addition of Sule, to that end, could help Xavi build a formidable defensive setup that will help the club restore their lost glory in the years to come.

Even from a tactical standpoint, Araujo’s athleticism and aggression combine well with Sule’s versatility, speed and imposing frame that can make him an intimidating presence for any attacker in Europe.

Perhaps the most important aspect behind the potential decision to join Barca is that the club can guarantee regular game-time, unlike Chelsea, where the German international may have to compete with several new additions in the central defensive unit.

Manchester United

Can young Niklas fill Hummels' boots? (Picture Courtesy - AFP/Getty Images)
Could Niklas Sule end up at Manchester United? (Picture Courtesy – AFP/Getty Images)

For our third pick, it was always going to be a close call between Manchester United and Real Madrid.

Having already signed David Alaba last summer, the Santiago Bernabeu appears to be an attractive destination for Niklas Sule, who can also join forces with former national teammate Toni Kroos. However, the Hard Tackle favours Manchester United to be a more likely destination for Sule, primarily thanks to the influence of Ralf Rangnick.

The former RB Leipzig boss won’t remain a manager for Manchester United next season, but his position as the club’s consultant, coupled with the sacking of Ed Woodward, could put him in a position to make important decisions, especially when it comes to the club’s transfer policy in the market.

One of the key weak points for Manchester United is the defensive department. While new signing Raphael Varane has done well, there are question marks over the quality of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof, which could force the Red Devils to take the gamble on a new centre-back next season.

While financial shortcomings haven’t historically been a problem for Manchester United, Rangnick is likely to target free agents while spending a fortune on attackers or midfielders.

As a direct rival, Man United are unlikely to get their hands on any of Chelsea’s defensive stars, which could prompt Rangnick to target Niklas Sule. The Bayern Munich defender has never played under the German tactician, but his influence could certainly be a deciding factor behind his potential move to Old Trafford.

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