If a report from the Evening Standard is believed to be true, Manchester United have joined the race for rumoured Chelsea target Jonathan Clauss. The Blues have scouted the Lens wingback for more than a year. However, interest from the Red Devils might lead to a transfer tug of war between the Premier League supergiants.
Atletico Madrid and Marseille are also chasing the signing of the 29-year-old Frenchman. The latter had a bid of around £6m rejected by Lens, who are holding on to an £8m valuation with less than a year left in his Blood and Gold contract.
Clauss was a late bloomer who rose to fame through the lower leagues of French and German football. He spent his academy years with FC Osthoffen, Strasbourg and ASPV Strasbourg before joining SV Linx in Germany for first-team experience. The defender returned to his homeland in 2015 and spent his time with Raon-l’Étape, Avranches and Quevilly-Rouen over the next three years.
The Rise Of Clauss
Meanwhile, a successful trial saw him completing a free transfer to Arminia Bielefeld in the summer of 2018. He grabbed attention during his two seasons in the 2. Bundesliga and the newly-promoted Lens roped him in on a Bosman upon the expiration of his Die Blauen contract. Clauss eventually grabbed his first-ever top-flight minutes at the age of 28, and with three goals and six assists in 33 league appearances, the wingback made it to UNFP’s Ligue 1 Team of the Year in 2021.
Clauss continued to excel in 2021-22 as he fired in 5 goals and laid on 11 more in 37 Ligue 1 outings. His emergence got rewarded with a Les Bleus call-up back in March, and the player, so far, has made four international appearances under Didier Deschamps.
Why Manchester United Must Snap Him Up
The Red Devils have Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka competing for the starting status. Neither has done enough though to cement a place, and the gaffer Erik ten Hag must decide whether to strengthen down the right similar to the left. Tyrell Malacia has been recruited despite having Luke Shaw and Alex Telles, whereas the potential arrival of Lisandro Martinez would offer further cover given his versatility in deep defence.
Clauss has been exquisite with his overlapping runs and attacking expertise. The right wingback role suits him the most, and Manchester United, therefore, must cash in on the France international even though he will be in his thirties soon. The asking fee is minuscule for a club of United’s stature, and the Dutch boss should tie him down as a short-fix en route to scripting a swift transition.