Niklas Sule has told Bayern Munich he wants to go on a free transfer at the end of the season, German report claims.
The much-loved defender has less than five months left on a Bayern contract and his failure to extend it has fueled speculation over his future.
And now, according to Bild, Sule has informed club owners that he would rather refuse a new deal over the summer for free.
It will come as a major blow to the Bundesliga champions, who lost 29-year-old David Alaba to Real Madrid last season for nothing.
Sule, who joined Bayern from Hoffenheim in 2017, has made 25 appearances this season, missing just four games after a bout with covid and back problems.
The centre-back has won four Bundesliga titles and played 37 matches for the Germany national team.
As a result, the 26-year-old veteran yet improvised has attracted attention from across Europe.
Chelsea and Newcastle, for different reasons, have both been linked with Sule in the past.
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Blues defender Antonio Rudiger, 28, Andreas Christensen, 25, and club captain Cesar Azpilicueta, 32, have been out of contract over the summer.
And while veteran Thiago Silva, 37, has committed his future to another year, his defensive teammates have yet to strike a deal.
Newcastle, who completed their £300million Saudi takeover in October, are desperate in the market for defensive reinforcements to fuel their bid for survival.
They believed a bid had been made for Sevilla’s 28-year-old Diego Carlos, who was turned down after a failure to sign 21-year-old Lille’s Seven Boatman as well.
SunSport revealed that Newcastle turned their attention to Burley’s 29-year-old James Tarkowski, leading West Ham and Leicester in the race.
But if Sule hints at refusing to renew his contract, Bayern could look to market him on a cut-price deal to ensure he doesn’t leave for free.