Middlesbrough have taken up their option to extend Djed Spence’s contract by an additional year to prevent any Premier League clubs from trying to seal a cut-price this summer. The flying wing-back, who was sent on loan to Nottingham Forest by former Riverside boss Neil Warnock has been a revelation this season at the City Ground, attracting interest from the likes of Tottenham and Arsenal.
Spence put his name in the shop window back in January when he helped keep the Gunners at bay in Forest’s 1-0 FA Cup third-round win.
He has continued to perform under the watchful eye of several potential suitors ever since as Steve Cooper’s side set their sights on a Championship play-off spot.
In January, Forest agreed a new loan fee with Boro to keep the 21-year-old for the remainder of the season.
But beyond that, it looks like Middlesbrough face a fight to hold on their marauding right-back.
Tottenham technical director Fabio Paratici was planning to travel to the Midlands to watch Spence in action on Sunday as Forest beat Leicester 4-1 in the FA Cup.
Spence was on target, scoring the fourth goal after he finished a brilliant team move confidently.
The performance is only likely to have increased the price tag on his shoulders.
It’s been reported that Spurs had two bids rejected by Boro for Spence during the January window.
Antonio Conte was looking to strengthen at right-wing-back before top target Adama Traore headed back to Barcelona from Wolves.
Tottenham were also understood to be watching his Forest team-mate Brennan Johnson in action.
The attacking midfielder scored his side’s second when he cunningly nutmegged goalkeeper Danny Ward.
Brentford placed a club-record bid for Johnson in the January window but their offer was rebuffed.
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