Report: Chelsea boss Tuchel 'monitoring' 11-assist wing-back as potential Azpilicueta replacement
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is interested in RC Lens right wing-back Jonathan Clauss amid more potential Stamford Bridge exits, according to French outlet Telefoot.
After Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen’s confirmed departures, Chelsea still could lose more defenders this summer.
One of them is the men’s team captain, Cesar Azpilicueta.
The 32-year-old triggered an automatic one-year extension clause in his contract after reaching 30 appearances this season which ties him to the club until 2023.
However, before the clause became active, Azpilicueta had reportedly received an offer from Barcelona.
An opportunity to return to Spain might be too attractive an offer to turn down for a player who has won everything at Chelsea.
Tuchel confirmed that he will try to convince the former Marseille man to stay at Stamford Bridge, but in case Azpilicueta decides to leave, Chelsea will have to find a replacement.
Chelsea consider potential replacements for Azpilicueta
Lens’ Clauss, who had five goals and 11 assists in Ligue 1 this season, is reportedly one of the candidates.
The 29-year-old’s contract at Lens expires in 2023 which has reportedly alerted a few other clubs.
Telefoot claims that Atletico Madrid are expected to make the first move and are set to make an offer of between £5million to £6m in the next few days.
The report added that Clauss has even met Atletico executives ahead of the potential move.
Telefoot mentioned Chelsea, Marseille, and Nice as the other clubs in the race for the France international.
The Blues, according to Telefoot, have yet to make any contact but are monitoring the situation closely.
This is hardly a surprise since, based on the report, the club would likely have to wait for Azpilicueta’s decision before making their move.
While Chelsea have Reece James as their first-choice ring wing-back, Azpilicueta is pretty much Tuchel’s other natural option in this position.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek and wingers, such as Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi, have played the role before, but this is hardly ideal given how big an impact James’ injury absences had on the team’s performance.