Antonio Conte has cleared the path for a struggling summer signing to depart Tottenham before the January window shuts after failing to make an impression on the Italian since signing.
Conte has been allowed to invest heavily since taking charge at N17, with a number of big-name players brought in. Indeed, Conte signed both Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski last January in a double deal from Juventus. And over the summer, seven new players made the move to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Richarlison for a fee that could top £60m proving the most costly.
And with the January window open for business once again, Conte has on Wednesday finally dipped his toes into the market, sealing the loan signing of Arnaut Danjuma from Villarreal.
A second signing of January also appears close too, with Spurs holding more talks over a deal for Pedro Porro. And while Sporting Lisbon are notoriously-tricky negotiators, Fabrizio Romano claims there is a confidence that an agreement can be reached.
Should his arrival be confirmed, that will leave Tottenham with four senior right-backs on their books. To this point in the season, Conte has rotated between Matt Doherty and Emerson Royal. Neither, though, has truly convinced; hence the quest to sign Porro.
The other man in the equation, summer signing Djed Spence, has found himself largely kicking his heels on the sidelines.
Costing £20m from Middlesbrough, the former Nottingham Forest loanee has been limited to just six appearances in all competitions.
And amid suggestions he was a signing made by Daniel Levy as opposed Conte, Spence has cut a frustrated figure.
Djed Spence cleared to leave Tottenham
As such, it is little surprise to see the 22-year-old linked with a move away from Spurs. Southampton were reportedly among those considering a move earlier in the window, though it seems their interest has faded.
However, with the Porro signing seemingly imminently, Football.London reports that Spence has been told he is free to leave.
His first-team prospects will likely be more restricted going forwards and Conte is let him move on.
Indeed, the likes of Brentford and Leicester are both reportedly looking into a possible deal. However, the article claims Conte has, at this point, decided that he does not want to lose Spence on a permanent basis.
At 22 he is still seen as a player with the potential to improve further, with a loan deal for now considered the best course of action.
To that end, the Foxes and the Bees are weighing up the possibility of signing Spence on loan until the end of the season.
The article claims there is also interest from Crystal Palace and Bayer Leverkusen, who are also pondering an approach.
Either way, it seems Spence is destined to leave Tottenham before the window shuts. And there may also be room for Emerson Royal to depart too, amid claims Spurs are willing to take a big hit on their initial investment.