Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn confirmed Wednesday that Germany centre-back Niklas Suele will leave at the end of the season after turning down a contract extension.
“We made him an offer, which he told us he didn’t accept. He wants to leave the club at the end of the season,” Kahn said in a press conference.
The towering 26-year-old will leave on a free transfer and has reportedly been linked to Chelsea, Newcastle and Barcelona.
Suele will be the third defender to leave Bayern in the last 12 months, after David Alaba’s transfer to Real Madrid and Jerome Boateng’s switch to Lyon.
Kahn was vague about whether Bayern will sign a new defender to replace Suele, “we have a lot of options when it comes to central defence”.
However, senior club bosses reportedly met with the agent of Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen in December.
Suele has made 158 appearances for Bayern since they signed him from Hoffenheim in 2017 for 20 million euros ($22.5 million).
He is set to be a key player for Germany at the World Cup in Qatar, which kicks off in November.
He was part of the squad which won the Champions League in 2019/20, but missed the first six months of that season after suffering a torn cruciate ligament knee injury for the second time in his career.
On Wednesday, Kahn also welcomed the decision by the state of Bavaria to allow up to 10,000 supporters to watch professional live sport.
It means Bayern can again welcome small crowds for home games in Munich.
“It was a very gratifying first step in the right direction and an important signal at this time,” Kahn added.