Revealed: Why France international rejected Chelsea transfer

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner 23 Sep 2022 10:43 BST 3 min read
Jonathan Clauss, France, 2022

Chelsea summer transfer target Jonathan Clauss has explained why he turned down the opportunity to move to Stamford Bridge in the summer.

The right wing-back, who is valued at €12 million by FootballTransfers, has been a late bloomer in his career. He has enjoyed two sparkling seasons with Lens in Ligue 1 and last term supplied 11 assists and five goals as the northern side narrowly missed out on European football.

His performances, though, were enough to earn him his first international caps for France at the age of 29, while he caught the attention of Chelsea and Manchester United, who both displayed an interest in signing him in the summer.

It was Marseille who ultimately won the race for the player, paying €7.5m to take him to Stade Velodrome.

Although the prospect of playing for one of the Premier League’s big guns was on the table, Clauss felt that the more measured approach was to switch to Marseille, where he could still realise one of his footballing dreams.

Marseille ticked all the boxes - Clauss
Jonathan Clauss playing for France

“I didn’t want to sign for Chelsea to one day say I signed for Chelsea,” Clauss told Info Sport.

“It was really to try and keep playing, to discover the Champions League. Marseille ticked all the boxes I was looking for.”

While Clauss would have been backup to Reece James at Stamford Bridge, he has been a regular player for Marseille this term. Indeed, he has started all of their games in all competitions, including a 2-0 Champions League loss to Tottenham in London, in which OM were the better side before a red card changed the course of the match.

Clauss’ decision to reject Chelsea may be one that leaves Blues fans baffled, but from his perspective, it is a call that has so far paid off, particularly with Marseille only two points off PSG’s pace in Ligue 1 after eight rounds of matches.

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