Who is Jonathan Clauss? Defender in ‘advanced’ transfer talks with Man Utd amid Chelsea interest
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Manchester United are in advanced talks to sign Lens defender Jonathan Clauss, according to reports.
The Frenchman, who has also been linked with a move to Chelsea, only has a year remaining on his current deal and his meteoric rise in recent seasons has seen him named as a reported target for several top European clubs.
United have already completed the signing of one defender Tyrell Malacia, while another, Lisandro Martinez, looks set to join after the club announced a deal to sign the Argentine over the weekend, subject to a medical, terms being finalised, and UK visa requirements.
So Erik ten Hag could have an almost entirely new defence next season, should a deal to sign Clauss be wrapped up soon.
What’s been reported?
Journalist Pedro Almeida tweeted on Monday afternoon claiming United were in ‘advanced’ talks to bring the defender to Old Trafford.
It followed a report in Le10Sport last week that claimed United and Chelsea were interested in Clauss, meanwhile, the Evening Standard also reported the Red Devils were ready to battle with Chelsea for his signature, and could cost as little as £8m.
Elsewhere, journalist Jacque Talbot claimed on social media that Clauss was a much more realistic signing than Achraf Hakimi, who United had been linked with.
Who is Jonathan Clauss?
The 29-year-old is something of a late bloomer and didn’t make a top-flight appearance until the beginning of 2020/21 campaign.
Clauss mainly played in the lower leagues of France in Germany in his early 20s, but helped Arminia Bielefeld gain promotion to the Bundesliag in 2020, before he joined Lens in the French top flight.
From there, the right-back has flourished and has been named in the Ligue 1 team of the season for the last two years.
He earned his first French call up in March and was also included in Didier Deschamps’s squad for June’s Nations League matches.
Clauss is more of an offensive wing-back than a defensive full-back, and can even play in a wide attacking role if required.
Last season, the Frenchman contributed five goals and 11 assists from 37 Ligue 1 games, and missed just one match all term.
United’s right-back options
The Red Devils ended last season with Diogo Dalot as first choice on the right-hand side of a back four, something Ten Hag appears to have stuck with.
The Portugal international has started each of the pre-season games so far, along with what looks like Ten Hag’s strongest starting XI.
Dalot was replaced in those games by Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Ethan Laird, but the former wasn’t used at all in Friday’s win over Melbourne Victory, suggesting he’s not part of the new manager’s plans.
The Red Devils have been linked with a new right-back on several occasions this summer, with moves for Denzel Dumfries and Kyle Walker-Peters mooted.