Tottenham are set to step up their efforts to sign Middlesbrough defender Djed Spence, according to a trusted transfer source.
Spence, 21, has been linked with a move to Spurs after his stellar displays on loan for Nottingham Forest last term. The Londoner made 41 starts among 42 Championship appearances as Forest gained promotion to the Premier League. The City Ground outfit beat Huddersfield Town 1-0 in the play-off final to advance to the promised land.
But Spence has now returned to Teesside and his future is up in the air. Both Tottenham and north London rivals Arsenal have been linked with the right-back.
However, it is the noises coming from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium that are the loudest. It was reported last week that talks between Spurs and Boro were at an advanced stage.
But there were no further developments during the week to shed any light on proceedings. Respected transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has now entered the picture once more.
And the Italian journalist feels it will not be long before Spurs firm up their interest in the youngster.
He tweeted: “Djed Spence deal. No negotiations this weekend, Tottenham are really interested since March but still no official bid, new direct contacts expected next week.”
Spence Tottenham move gathers pace
Antonio Conte has been busy in the transfer market since guiding his side to fourth place in the Premier League. Ivan Perisic, Fraser Forster and Yves Bissouma have already been recruited, with more set to follow.
The Italian replaced Nuno Espirito Santo last season and brought in Juventus duo Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur in January. But he now has a full summer window to try and mould the squad he wants.
The former Chelsea chief managed to secure Champions League football and that will be a draw to any potential signing.
Spence would be playing second-tier football if he remains at the Riverside. And a £20m switch to the capital seems on the cards.
Spurs are said to be confident they can get their man, who will offer the side many options. Primarily a right-back, Spence can also play as a wing-back or a right-winger.
It was suggested in early May that Spence would ignore the advances of bigger teams and pen permanent terms with Forest. However, the lure of Tottenham and European football may be too much to resist.