Djed Spence’s superb form on loan at Nottingham Forest has piqued the interests of the Premier League’s top clubs, with Tottenham and Arsenal both interested in securing his services for next season – although Middlesbrough will ask for a club-record fee if they are to sell their prized asset.
Spence, 21, joined Middlesbrough in 2018 after being released by Fulham at the age of 17. He made his breakthrough a year later, appearancing 24 times for the Premier League hopefuls in their bid for promotion.
But after starting for the club earlier in the season, he was loaned to Nottingham Forest in a shock move. Rather unsurprisingly, he has excelled in the Midlands, rising to prominence with superb outings against Leicester and Arsenal.
And according to the Daily Star, the Gunners will compete for his services with Tottenham this summer – although it will cost a lot of money to bring him to the capital. The report states that the Teeside club will demand a club-record £20million for his services.
The star has been allowed to depart this season due to the rise of promising young star Isaiah Jones, who has performed well for Chris Wilder in the absence of Spence. But with the London-born full-back excelling on loan at the City Ground this season, Boro will look to cash in on his high stock whilst they can.
Arsenal and Tottenham are expected to hold a north London bidding war for his services, with Antonio Conte in the market for a right-back following the poor performances of Emerson Royal this season. The current club record sale is that of Adama Traore to Wolves in 2018, following their failure to become promoted from the Championship after relegation the year prior.
But the £20m bid for Spence would eclipse that and potentially give them an increased budget – which could go a long way, especially if they are promoted to the Premier League. Wilder’s men currently sit seventh in the table, just two points behind faltering Blackburn Rovers with two games in hand.
And he spoke on the decision to keep Spence at Forest. “He’s (Spence) our player, and it’s always been a complex situation. I understand more than anybody that he’s playing well, and we’re delighted that he’s playing well because he’s our player and our asset as well,” the Middlesbrough boss stated.
The Riversiders have nine games to get into the play-offs, although they face three of the current top four in that time. Tottenham and Arsenal could line up bids in the off-season should Boro fail to make the step up to the top flight.
Whether that happens remains to be seen, however.