Manchester United are reportedly preparing to battle with Chelsea for the transfer of wing-back Jonathan Clauss amid plans to offload current stars.
The Premier League clubs have made relatively slow starts to the summer transfer window but are getting into gear. Chelsea have added Raheem Sterling to their attack and are now chasing defensive reinforcements.
United, while struggling to sign Frenkie de Jong, have signed left-back Tyrell Malacia. They are also close to signing versatile Ajax star Lisandro Martinez.
However, both clubs are now targeting reinforcements down the right flank.
The newspaper claims that Lens value the 29-year-old at £8million following offers from elsewhere.
Indeed, L’Equipe claimed on Thursday that Marseille have had a €5million (£4.2million) plus bonuses offer rejected for Clauss.
And the Frenchman now reportedly favours a move across France given their firm interest in signing him.
Jonathan Clauss a background Man Utd, Chelsea target
The Evening Standard reports that Clauss is in fact on the backburner of both Man Utd and Chelsea’s shortlists.
They will only go after him properly once they sell players currently in their squad.
United eye him as a potential replacement for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, whose Old Trafford future has become unclear after the arrival of new manager Erik ten Hag.
Chelsea, meanwhile, are aware that Cesar Azpilicueta is a major Barcelona target. They have told the La Liga side to stump up £7million for the Spaniard, with Clauss a target in case he leaves.
Lens, though, are holding out for £8million for Clauss and it remains unclear whether Marseille can come to an agreement before their Premier League transfer rivals get the chance to go after him.
Wing-back an exciting option
Clauss proved influential for Lens last season, helping lead them to a seventh-placed finish in Ligue 1.
He scored five goals and assisted 11 more last term, featuring up and down the right flank.
Attacking full-backs who have defensive nous too have become hot property in the Premier League.
Chelsea’s Reece James is a prime example and they are looking to bring another player with similar qualities in to bolster their ranks.
Reports in the past spoke of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Man Utd concerns that Wan-Bissaka was not showing the progress in attack that he had made in his defensive work.
Last season, Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick chopped and changed between Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot. As such, Clauss could be an option for both the Red Devils and Chelsea to come in and challenge for minutes.