Chelsea’s woes in the transfer market of the 2021/22 season are set to continue after their top transfer target, Niklas Süle, has been confirmed by Borussia Dortmund to be moving to the Westfalenstadion at the end of the season.
The Bayern Munich centre back refused to sign an extension with the German champions and has been in talks with several clubs since the January transfer window opened, according to the Bowman rule.
Chelsea and Barcelona, alongside nouveau-riche Newcastle United we’re also reported to be eyeing a move for the 24-year-old defender, with Chelsea reported to have made several moves for the player.
The Blues were looking to sign the former Hoffenheim man in preparation for a clear-out in their rearguard come the end of the season. Now, Borussia Dortmund have unofficially announced the signing of the centre back, and will wait till the end of the current season to unveil him as a BVB player.
Süle has spent the last four-and-a-half years at Bayern Munich after moving from Hoffenheim in 2017 for £18 million. He has won four Bundesliga titles, two DFB-Pokal cups and the UEFA Champions League in that time.
With Bayern currently on course for a fifth Bundesliga title since signing Süle, he could leave the Bavarians a five-time winner of the league title. They are also still in contention for the Champions League, which could also see the 24-year-old win one more UCL medal before his switch to Dortmund.
Dortmund will sign the Bayern defender on a four-year contract, as confirmed by sporting director Michael Zorc.
Zorc, who led the negotiations with Süle and his representatives, confirmed the club’s delight to be signing the defender. “We are pleased that we were able to sign a German national player in Niklas Sule and retain him for four years,” Zorc said.
Current Dortmund head of first team football Sebastian Kehl, who is also the club’s incoming sporting director, echoed Zorc’s sentiments about Sule’s arrival at the club. Kehl said: “Niklas has shown us in personal discussions that he is very interested in Borussia Dortmund.
“He has a lot of experience, calmness in the build-up game and the necessary physique to take the next step with us from the summer.”
Dortmund have been the closest challengers to Bayern in the German top flight, and are the only club to take the title off the Bavarians in the past decade. As it stands, they are nine points away from Bayern at the top of the table and they will hope that the arrival of Süle will help them tilt the challenge in their favour in the coming years.
In an interview with BILD, Süle has explained why he chose to remain in Germany with Dortmund despite receiving more financially lucrative offers from other clubs across Europe.
“From the first time we made contact, I immediately sensed that those responsible at the club were very keen to work with me,” said Süle.
“[Club CEO] Hans Joachim Watzke, [sporting director] Michael Zorc, [head of first team football] Sebastian Kehl and [head coach] Marco Rose impressively conveyed to me the role I could play at BVB, and I had the feeling that I was wanted as a person and as a footballer.
“I was impressed by the way they tried to get me, so I quickly knew where I was going to play in the future.”