France defender Jonathan Clauss has opened up on why he did not want to join Chelsea this summer.
The highly rated right-back was among several players linked with Stamford Bridge during a frantic first transfer window under the Boehly-Clearlake regime, with former boss Thomas Tuchel searching for additions all over the pitch and particularly in defence.
Clauss had piqued the interest of many clubs across Europe following an impressive two-year stint back in Ligue 1 with Lens, while he has also broken into the French senior set-up this year, earning his first four senior caps under Didier Deschamps.
The 29-year-old had previously played in Germany with Arminia Bielefeld after spells in the French lower divisions.
However, despite Chelsea’s rumoured interest, Clauss eventually joined Marseille in July and penned a three-year contract after moving for a fee believed to be in the region of €9m.
Lifting the lid on his reasons for not pursuing a switch to west London, he said he did not want to join Chelsea purely for the prestige and clearly had concerns over a potential lack of first-team football amid the fierce competition for places in the Premier League.
“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.”
Clauss has been a regular since joining Marseille, making 10 appearances across all competitions so far under new boss Igor Tudor, whose unbeaten side currently sits second in Ligue 1 and two points adrift of reigning champions Paris Saint-Germain after winning six of their opening eight matches this term.
Clauss, who plays alongside the likes of Arsenal loanee Nuno Tavares, Matteo Guendouzi, Alexis Sanchez, Sead Kolasinac and Eric Bailly at the Stade Velodrome, was also part of the Marseille side beaten in the Champions League by Tottenham in north London earlier this month.