MIDDLESBROUGH’S main deadline-day decision is set to revolve around Djed Spence – with Tottenham and Arsenal both lining up offers for the 21-year-old full-back.

Spence is currently on loan at Nottingham Forest, with Boro boss Chris Wilder having opted not to recall him for the second half of the campaign despite his impressive performances at the City Ground in the last few months.

Given that he has already played for both Forest and Middlesbrough this season, Spence would not be able to feature for a third club in the current campaign.

However, that has not deterred both Spurs and Arsenal from lining up potential offers, with a view to developing London-born Spence in the future. If either signs the defender today, they will allow him to remain with Forest for the remainder of the season before adding him to their own squad in the summer.

Tottenham’s interest is fuelled by their failure to land Adama Traore this month, with Antonio Conte determined to increase his options at wing-back. Conte is known to have been impressed with Spence’s performances this season, although ideally, he would like someone who could slot into his side straight away.

Mikel Arteta’s interest in Spence was strengthened when the Boro youngster helped Forest beat Arsenal in the third round of the FA Cup, and the Gunners boss is understood to be happier with the notion of building for the future by signing a player who cannot play for the next five months.

Boro chairman Steve Gibson and head of football Kieran Scott will face a difficult decision if formal offers arrive for Spence ahead of this evening’s 11pm deadline.

On the one hand, there will be an understandable desire to restore the youngster to the Boro squad for next season, but on the other, if he could be sold for a fee of around £12-15m, with hefty future add-ons as part of the deal, his departure would leave the club in a strong financial position heading into the summer.

Wilder remains keen to make at least one more addition of his own before the window closes, having discussed transfer issues with Gibson on Friday.

“I had a conversation with the owner yesterday, and he’s doing as much as he possibly can to back things, which he always has done,” said Wilder. “If there’s no action, there’s no action, and we’ll go with what we’ve got. If there is, and there’s a couple of outs and a couple of ins, then great.”