RUMOURS: Chelsea battle Bayern for Sule transfer

The German defender turned down a move to Stamford Bridge in the summer but Antonio Conte has marked him as his number one target in January

Chelsea are preparing to make a move for Hoffenheim defender Niklas Sule, according to ESPN.

Antonio Conte remains determined to secure a move for another centre-half in January and has marked the German as a prime target, despite him reportedly turning down a move to Stamford Bridge in the summer.

Sule, who has established himself as one of the most dependable defenders in the Bundesliga having progressed through the Hoffenheim academy, is also used to the three-at-the-back system in which Conte likes to operate.

A number of other defensive targets have been linked with a move to the Blues, including Roma’s Antonio Rudiger and Burnley’s Michael Keane, though Sule is thought to be the Italian’s first choice.

However, Bayern Munich are also interested in signing Sule and will rivalt he Blues for his signature.