Djed Spence could yet get the chance to return to Nottingham Forest after a report revealed a growing frustration between Middlesbrough and Tottenham Hotspur.
Spence spent the 2021-22 season on loan at Nottingham Forest from fellow Championship side Middlesbrough. He had the last laugh by helping Steve Cooper’s side win promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs.
Although his contract says he is a Middlesbrough player again, it seems certain Spence will be testing himself in the top-flight next season. The only question is with which club.
The right-back has emerged as a major target for Tottenham Hotspur, who currently have Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty in his position. It is an area Antonio Conte, somewhat predictably, would like to strengthen.
However, Tottenham have been taking their time over a move for the 21-year-old. What’s more, Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder has confirmed the selling club will be holding out for the right price, even though it is clear Spence does not want to return to them.
Now, though, Spurs have been dealt a setback in their pursuit. According to Football League World, Middlesbrough are getting frustrated at their lack of progress.
In turn, they claim the door is not completely closed for Spence to return to Nottingham Forest on a permanent basis.
Hope remains at the City Ground that Forest would be able to welcome him back. They are keeping him in mind in case he can be a part of their long-awaited top-flight return.
It may be an indication to Tottenham that the long game may not work in the battle for Spence. Whether they speed up their own pursuit as a result, only time will tell.
As things stand, it seems both suitors are monitoring the situation and waiting for an opportunity to pounce.
Spence is under contract with Middlesbrough until 2024. However, they could expect to sell him for a good fee this summer.
Tottenham may still remain confident, but should be wary of Forest’s plans in case they delay too long.
Nottingham Forest return still worth considering for Djed Spence
Although the interest of a club like Tottenham, who have Champions League football on offer, is appealing, Spence could still give thought to going back to Forest.
They provided him with a strong platform last season, giving him 46 appearances across all competitions. He rewarded them with three goals and five assists.
Djed Spence wanted man as Nottingham Forest gain promotion
Right back Djed Spence is a man in demand as Middlesbrough prepare for multiple offers for Nottingham Forest full back
Joining Tottenham would be a big step up for Spence. Although the inconsistency of Emerson and Doherty means he would stand a chance of starting regularly, it remains to be seen how he would cope.
At least another season with Forest would be beneficial for Spence if they can lure him back. He would still be at top-flight level, but without any immediate pressure.
In turn, he could remind suitors in the top regions of the table what he is all about. There is plenty of time for him to make a big move in the future.
Still, if Tottenham speed up their interest now, they may be hard to resist.