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GERMAN BUNDESLIGA

2018/2019 Season

POS TEAM W D L PTS
1 Dortmund 15 5 1 50
2 Bayern 15 3 4 48
3 Gladbach 13 3 5 42
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 By Mark Lovell

Niklas Sule excited for move, says 'There's no bigger club than Bayern'

Niklas Sule has said "there's no bigger club than Bayern Munich" and is looking forward to challenging Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng for a place when he arrives in Bavaria this summer from Hoffenheim.

Spurning interest from Chelsea, the 21-year-old signed a five-year deal to join the German champions for a reported fee of around €25 million at the end of this season.

The central defender will be joined in Bavaria by Hoffenheim teammate Sebastian Rudy, who will arrive on a free transfer.

"I'm looking forward to the task," Sule told Kicker. "I want to take the next step in my career there, training on a daily basis with the best players in the world.

"I am only 21 and can still learn and soak up many things from World Cup-winning duo Hummels and Boateng, so that I continue to improve. But I'm convinced I'll make the breakthrough at some point."

Boateng returned following a 108-day absence through injury as a substitute, making his first Bundesliga appearance since November in Bayern's 3-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt at the weekend.

And Sule revealed he had contacted his future teammate to support him during his lengthy comeback bid to reciprocate Boateng's well wishes during his own struggles with an ACL injury.

"Naturally, I wrote to him. We get in contact from time to time, "Sule said. "For example, he also congratulated me on my move. He is one of the best central defenders in the world and I hope that he remains fit in the future."

When the transfer was finalised in January, Sule described the chance to join the record German champions "as a once in a lifetime opportunity."

Asked whether a move to Bavaria was only a stepping stone before a move to England, Sule said: "There's no bigger club than Bayern Munich."

Niklas Sule says he's eager to find a role to play in the Bayern Munich lineup.

With almost 100 Bundesliga appearances under his belt for Hoffenheim, Sule faces stiff competition for a spot from Germany regulars Boateng and Hummels, while Bayern's record signing Javi Martinez has also impressed in central defence in Boateng's absence.

But Sule is not fazed by this daunting prospect, saying: "If everything goes well, Bayern play over 50 competitive games every season -- a real heavy workload. But they play almost every week with a different lineup.

"I hope I'll only need a little time to settle in and want to help the club as quickly as possible on the pitch. That's why they signed me and that's my goal."

Meanwhile, Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has said Sule and Rudy could be the club's last major signings this year.

"This will be a new chapter for FC Bayern, in which we will again try to reduce transfers by developing our own players," he told TZ. "And that doesn't look too bad at the moment.

"You mustn't forget that we have already bought a defensive player in Niklas Sule, who could have a great future.

"We've got Sebastian Rudy, who can play in midfield. In defence, we have Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Sule in the future. Javi Martinez can also go into midfield."

Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.

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