‘The chapter is closed’ – Pablo Longoria draws a line under the Jonathan Clauss affair

With just hours to go until the closure of the transfer window in January, Jonathan Clauss (31) was surprisingly put on the market by Olympique de Marseille. 

The France international came, off almost in tears, against AS Monaco on 27th January. Naturally, the Ligue 1 club feared the worst, but tests showed only a very minor knock. New sporting director Mehdi Benatia revealed that he was told before arriving at OM that Clauss’ behaviour was “borderline”. The Moroccan went on to publicly criticise Clauss, leading the UNFP to accuse Benatia of “bullying”. 

Regardless, the episode against Monaco in late January confirmed Marseille’s suspicions that Clauss was more focused on earning a spot in Didier Deschamps’ France squad for Euro 2024 than on performing at club level. In the final hours, Clauss was offered to clubs, notably West Ham United, through intermediaries, however, the France international wanted to remain at the Vélodrome and so he did. 

‘It has been resolved internally’

Speaking to AS ahead of Thursday’s UEFA Europa League encounter against Villarreal, Longoria wanted to definitively draw a line under the affair. “The chapter is closed. It came at a moment when there were multiple players away at the Africa Cup of Nations and there were numerous players injured. The basis of this month of January had to be one of total commitment from everyone in the team,” he began. 

The Spaniard added, “I am speaking about commitment because in difficult moments, the primary values must come out, but these are issues that have already been resolved internally. All we want is Jonathan Clauss’ maximum performance in order to allow us to reach our collective objectives, as well as his own, such as the one to go to the Euros.”

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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