Chelsea were interested in securing a summer deal for highly-rated young Hoffenheim defender Niklas Sule, according to the player's agent.

New manager Antonio Conte spent much of a first transfer window at Stamford Bridge attempting to strengthen his defensive options and eventually settled on a divisive £34m ($45.4m) deal to secure the return of cult hero David Luiz from Paris Saint-Germain on deadline day after also raiding Fiorentina for the services of Spanish left-back Marcos Alonso.

The charismatic Luiz's famously erratic performances during a previous three-year stint in west London led some to label the signing as a late panic buy that only appeared to come to fruition after Chelsea had already struck out with regard to their pursuits of priority Serie A centre-back targets such as Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly and Alessio Romagnoli of AC Milan.

Nikola Maksimovic and Leonardo Bonucci were also believed to be on their radar and questions have been raised as to whether Conte may now be tempted to turn to the favoured 3-5-2 formation that he has resisted the temptation to implement during his short spell in English football thus far.

When asked about Chelsea's pursuit of the towering Sule, who recently helped Germany's U23 side to claim silver medals at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, representative Karlheinz Forster told Bild: "Yes, there was interest. The English have made it clear that their interest will remain valid next year."

Sport Bild suggested last week that Liverpool were among a throng of other clubs chasing the 21-year-old, who made 34 appearances across all competitions for Hoffenheim in 2015/16 and was handed his senior Germany debut last month by playing almost an hour as Joachim Low's side brought the curtain down on captain Bastian Schweinsteiger's 12-year international career with a 2-0 friendly win over Finland in Monchengladbach.

Niklas Sule
Niklas Sule scored his penalty during the 5-4 Rio 2016 shootout defeat to Brazil last month Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

He did not feature in Oslo on Sunday (4 September), where Die Mannschaft opened their qualification campaign for the 2018 World Cup by brushing aside Norway 3-0 in Group C thanks to a brace from Thomas Muller that came either side of a first goal from Bayern Munich teammate Joshua Kimmich.

"I've got my familiar environment here," Sule, valued at approximately £25m according to The Sun, provided his reasoning for snubbing interest from an extensive list of suitors also believed to include Borussia Dortmund, Wolfsburg, Bayer Leverkusen, Napoli and Milan. "That was and is very important for my development and the base to put in constant performances at a high level."