Nottingham Forest have been handed a boost in their bid to land former loanee Djed Spence.
That’s according to a recent report by Football League World, who claim that Middlesborough are now growing frustrated with Tottenham Hotspur, who are stalling in negotiations for the wing-back.
Spence spent last season at the City Ground, however, it was thought that the Reds would not be able to compete with the financial muscle of Spurs in the race for the England U21 international.
However, Steve Cooper is reported to have not given up hope of re-signing the 21-year-old and looks to strike up talks once more.
Spence burst onto the scene last season, as he was an integral part of the side that beat Huddersfield Town in the play-off final.
Cooper’s introduction helped lift Forest from rock bottom when he took over back in September to promotion chasers, and his patented formation was a huge reason for this.
With three centre-backs, this allowed the marauding Spence huge freedom to attack down the right, earning him seven goal contributions this season.
He also boasts a 7.05 average WhoScored rating, marking him out as a consistent performer who constantly threatens opposing full-backs.
He has earned widespread praise for his exploits, particularly from Ian Wright, who labelled the defender “unbelievable”.
Antonio Conte and the Forest boss share huge similarities in their systems, which therefore makes it unsurprising to see the two keen on the £7.2m-rated speedsters’ signature.
It is a huge vote of confidence that a manager with such pedigree across Europe shares Cooper’s eye for talent.
With the Italian struggling to see the value in forking out the reported £15m asking price, perhaps the newfound promotion money could be invested in a player who has already performed well for Forest.
Speaking to The Athletic, it is clear that Cooper would love to bring the youngster back on a permanent deal. He claimed: “I am very fond of him. He is a sensible lad and you can tell that he cares a lot about the next game, about Forest — he loves Forest”.
Perhaps he can prove this love by snubbing Spurs and re-signing for the Tricky Trees; a move which would be a dream for the Reds’ manager.