Chelsea have reportedly received the green light to conclude a deal for Lens wing-back Jonathan Clauss after the French outfit landed his replacement.
The Premier League club are understood to have opened talks over the signing of one of the most consistent performers in Ligue 1 last season, with Clauss since going on to win four caps for France.
The 29-year-old only moved to Lens in 2020, having won the German second division title with Arminia Bielefeld.
Clauss is also considered a bit of a late bloomer. Indeed, as recently as five years ago he was playing in the third tier of French football.
However, the defender has been included in the Ligue 1 Team of the Year for the past two campaigns.
His outstanding form has attracted the likes of Chelsea, while Atletico Madrid are also keen. However, the Blues are seemingly leading the race for a player with just 12 months left on his contract.
Despite favouring playing at wing-back, Clauss can also play as a traditional full-back. Those qualities fit right in for Thomas Tuchel, who constantly alters his formation at Stamford Bridge.
However, if Tuchel can bring in the defensive targets he wants, the German will largely stick to his 3-4-3 system.
Having already lost Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid, Andreas Christensen and skipper Cesar Azpilicueta are also expected to move on.
That will leave Tuchel short of numbers at the back and the feeling is that Clauss can fill Azpilicueta’s role.
Clauss could be early Christmas present
But if Chelsea are looking to seal his signature, they will have to pay between £8.5million and £10m.
One thing is for sure, Lens are ready to sell after they signed Clauss’ replacement in Angers star Jimmy Cabot.
The main issue for the Blues at the moment, however, is that they are yet to make a signing after Todd Boehly’s takeover.
Transfer chief Marina Granovskaia will also be leaving the club, which will leave a void.
The Blues also remain keen on Sevilla star Jules Kounde, who they tried to land last August. However, they need to get the right pieces in place again before striking any new transfers.