Manchester United and Chelsea will not be able to follow up tentative interest in Jonathan Clauss after Marseille had a bid accepted for the full-back.
Both Premier League sides are looking to bolster their defensive ranks this summer. United have signed centre-back Lisandro Martinez, who can also operate as a left-back.
The Red Devils have furthermore added a recognised left-back in Tyrell Malacia. They have now made a right-back a priority.
But reports last week claimed that Man Utd would wait to move for Clauss until they shifted Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Chelsea held interest on the same terms amid doubt over Cesar Azpiliceuta’s future.
According to transfer reporter Fabrizio Romano, the chance for both sides to firm up their interest has now gone.
Indeed, Romano reports that Lens have accepted Marseille’s initial €8million fee for Clauss.
The earlier reports linking Man Utd and Chelsea claimed that the 29-year-old immediately preferred the move across France instead of the Premier League.
Romano further claims that Clauss will undergo his medical with Marseille on Tuesday before finalising his transfer.
Clauss impressed for Lens in Ligue 1 last season, contributing five goals and 11 assists. While he can play right-back, his tendency to get forward and join attacks produced his goal contributions.
But he also chipped in defensively, helping Lens to a seventh-placed finish.
He will now look to play a major role in a Ligue 1 title race for Marseille, who finished second – albeit 15 points off Paris Saint-Germain – last season.
Man Utd, Chelsea move on from Clauss
As for Man Utd and Chelsea, their interest in Clauss was never firmed up and they will now look elsewhere.
Reports have linked the Red Devils with Inter’s Denzel Dumfries and a more ambitious swoop for PSG’s Achraf Hakimi.
Chelsea, meanwhile, look as if they will wait for clarity on Azpilicueta’s future first.
The Spain international is angling for a move to Barcelona, who do not like the Blues’ £7million valuation given he has one year left on his contract.
A new right-back is more of a priority for United than it is for Chelsea.
When fit, England international Reece James is the undisputed candidate for Thomas Tuchel. United, meanwhile, chopped and changed between Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka last season.