Manchester City and Chelsea have reportedly emerged as shock contenders in the race to sign RC Lens star Jonathan Clauss.

According to Kicker, Jonathan Clauss’ days at RC Lens could soon be over, as the former Arminia Bielefeld wide man is attracting interest from a host of top clubs across Europe, including Manchester City and Chelsea. He is expected to cost between €6 million and €8 million, after joining Lens on a free transfer last summer.

A product of the Strasbourg youth academy, Clauss, after starring in Arminia’s promotion campaign in 2.Bundesliga last season, has enjoyed immense success at Lens. He has been involved in a total of nine goals in just 33 matches, helping his team enjoy a truly remarkable campaign in Ligue 1 under the leadership of Franck Haise.

A right-sided midfielder by trade, the 28-year-old has been a mainstay in Haise’s wing-back system, typically featuring as a creative outlet out wide. Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel must have seen a lot of him during his time at Paris Saint-Germain, even losing to Lens at the start of the campaign.

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The German tactician, therefore, is keen on securing the services of Clauss. The Lens star could emerge as an ideal competitor for Reece James in the right wing-back slot in the Chelsea side, and is a more natural fit in that position, compared to someone like Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Chelsea have already been linked with a move for other wide players like Lucas Vazquez of Real Madrid, but it appears Clauss could be a more cost-effective option in the market, which is why even Manchester City are keeping a close eye on the Frenchman this summer.

Although the Citizens are not in immediate need of versatile wide players, they do require additional competition for Kyle Walker, especially with Pep Guardiola determined to use Joao Cancelo as a utility player.

Clauss, in that regard, should be an ideal option as he can cover the entire right flank. However, one would argue that the Frenchman simply does not have the technical skill or enough quality to thrive at Manchester City, potentially making Chelsea a strong contender in this transfer chase.

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The Blues, though, first need to offload their fringe players in order to make space in their squad. One of the players tipped for an exit from Chelsea is Tammy Abraham, with Tuchel even open to the departure of Timo Werner.

Their collective sale could serve as a financial boost for the west London giants, as they hope to run a squad overhaul under Tuchel this summer, in their bid to emerge as a title contender in the upcoming season. However, it remains to be seen if Chelsea, or even Manchester City, do make a move for Clauss, or if he stays put with Ligue 1 outfit Lens.

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