Manager reveals Tottenham were only club to bid for 21-year-old this summer

Daniel Levy
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Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder has revealed Tottenham were the only club pursuing a move for Djed Spence this summer, which was why the transfer took time to materialise. 

Spence, 21, is closing in on a switch to Spurs for a reported £12.5 million fee rising to £20 million in add-ons (Sky Sports) after an impressive loan campaign during Nottingham Forest’s run to Premier League promotion. 

The England U21 international is set to finalise the final details ahead of moving to North London (Football.London) which will signal the end of a lengthy transfer saga that has rumbled on throughout the summer. 

Boro boss Wilder, who left negotiations in the hands of the club’s owner and chief executive (Teesside Live), has since given an explanation as to why both clubs struggled to reach an agreement. 

The 54-year-old admitted Spurs were the only club in the running for Spence after the wing-back cited his intentions to join Antonio Conte’s side, which allowed them to take their time in terms of laying down an offer. 

Wilder told Teesside Live: “It’s a boost for everyone. There has been far too much talk about it, but these deals just don’t happen overnight.

“It’s a big number for a player that has not played for us. He had a fabulous season [at Nottingham Forest], everyone knows that.

“Tottenham were the only show in town, so they could hang out, which they have done. We needed to hang out, which we have done. Eventually, a deal has been done.

“Tottenham will feel they’ve got a very good deal for a young player, we feel we’ve got a great deal to get the money we’ve got for a player who has hardly played for the first-team here.

“Forest didn’t come in for him, nobody else came in for him, Tottenham were the only show in town. So that made it quite difficult for Neil [Bausor] and Steve [Gibson] to get the right number, but they did and they’re comfortable with it.

“As far as I’m concerned, he’s gone, I don’t have to speak about it again and we move on.”

Spurs Web Opinion 

Wilder’s explanation regarding why Spence’s move was so drawn out does make sense as Spurs did not need to rush to make their move. 

If there were other clubs in the running then maybe it would have forced Spurs’ hand, but the move is near enough complete now so the book can be closed on this situation. 

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