Tottenham have reportedly joined London rivals Chelsea in the race to sign RC Lens defender Jonathan Clauss, after cooling their interest in Djed Spence.
Middlesbrough right-back Spence has been on Spurs’ radar for some time, but despite talks taking place a resolution over the transfer appears to be no closer to taking place.
Indeed, the two clubs are struggling to agree a fee for the talented 21-year-old. With that in mind, sporting director Fabio Paratici continues to monitor other targets – with Clauss being one of them.
A report on Thursday stated that Chelsea are closing in on the Frenchman. They view Clauss as a perfect replacement for Blues skipper Cesar Azpilicueta, who looks set to leave on a free transfer.
However, Sky Sports reports that Tottenham have now put Clauss on their wishlist.
The 29-year-old had an outstanding campaign with Lens last season as they finished seventh in Ligue 1.
Clauss chalked up five goals and added an impressive 11 assists. To that end, he is a perfect fit in Antonio Conte’s 4-3-3 system.
More Tottenham signings to come
The north London club have had a busy window so far, bringing in Ivan Perisic, Fraser Forster and Yves Bissouma.
More signings are expected to follow, with Conte still after another centre-back and striker. Right wing-back also remains a need, as referenced in the chase for Spence and Clauss, despite Matt Doherty and Emerson Royal both improving as the 2021-22 campaign went on.
At this stage, Clauss’ experience looks to give him the edge over Spence. He would also cost less at around £10m.
The former has also been capped four times by France and has been playing top-league football for five seasons.
Spence’s best hope of a move is that he will boost Tottenham’s homegrown quota. That is something that could be a concern if the likes of Harry Winks are moved on this summer.