MIDDLESBROUGH will attempt to make a swift decision over Djed Spence’s future in the immediate aftermath of this weekend’s Championship play-off final between Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield Town.

Having moved to the City Ground on loan last summer, Spence will be a key part of Steve Cooper’s starting line-up at Wembley as Forest look to secure a place in the Premier League.

Out of respect to Spence and the rest of the Forest squad, Boro have not held any discussions over the wing-back’s future during the course of the play-off campaign.

However, once Sunday’s final has been completed, the Teessiders are keen to move quickly, with Spence’s situation set to have a knock-on effect on other aspects of the club’s anticipated summer transfer business.

With Isaiah Jones having burst onto the first-team scene so impressively last season, Boro are ready to listen to offers for Spence, who is contracted to the Riverside until the summer of 2024.

Spence signed a contract extension prior to joining Nottingham Forest last summer, so the Boro hierarchy are in an extremely strong negotiating position as they prepare to discuss the future of a player whose performances this season have attracted attention from right across Europe.

If Forest win at Wembley, they will be extremely keen to sign Spence on a permanent basis. The 21-year-old, who is set to be valued at around £20m, has enjoyed his time at the City Ground, and would be guaranteed a first-team place in the Premier League next season if Forest were to win promotion and he was make a permanent move.

The Northern Echo:

However, a number of other clubs hold a long-standing interest in the defender, and are set to make rival approaches of their own this summer.

Tottenham have been admirers ever since Spence was part of the Boro team that took Spurs to an FA Cup replay back in January 2020, with the Spurs hierarchy already having laid the groundwork for a formal offer.

Antonio Conte is keen to sign an attack-minded full-back option this summer, and is understood to have given the green light to a move for Spence, who recently earned his maiden call-up to the England Under-21 squad.

Tottenham have also been heavily linked with Spence’s current Forest team-mate, Brennan Johnson, and are set to make their move before the transfer window officially reopens.

They could face competition from their North London rivals, Arsenal, with the Gunners also known to have taken a strong interest in Spence over the last couple of years.

Mikel Arteta is an admirer of the right-back, although at this stage, Arsenal’s transfer priorities are understood to fall in other areas. With Boro keen to achieve a swift resolution, that could count against them.

Spence has also been linked with Roma and Barcelona, as well as Brentford, but at this stage of his career, the defender is believed to prefer a move that would enable him to remain in England.

While Boro boss Chris Wilder has accepted the wisdom of selling Spence in order to generate funds that can then be spent on incoming deals, enabling the Teessiders to remain within the parameters of the EFL’s Financial Fair Play Regulations, he has no interest in selling Marcus Tavernier this summer.

The Northern Echo:

Tavernier was linked with a possible move to newly-promoted Bournemouth this week, having produced a series of impressive performances in the Championship last season.

However, while there will be a number of other departures from the Riverside this summer, with Chuba Akpom and Uche Ikpeazu still on the club’s books after loan moves away from Teesside last season and Boro willing to listen to offers for both Joe Lumley and Luke Daniels, there is no desire to lose Tavernier.

The academy product was one of Wilder’s key performers last term, and remains an important part of the Boro boss’ plans for next season.