MIDDLESBROUGH are adamant they will not be backed into a corner over Djed Spence – and are prepared to hold on to the full-back if an acceptable offer is not forthcoming this summer.

Despite weeks of intense speculation linking Spence with a potential move to Tottenham, Boro officials have not received an offer from the Premier League club.

The Boro hierarchy fielded an inquiry at the start of the summer about whether or not Spence was for sale, but have not had any further contact with anyone from Tottenham.

An approach at some stage is anticipated, with Antonio Conte having identified Spence as his number one option for the right-back role.

Spurs agreed a deal for Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma earlier today and have also signed free agent Ivan Perisic, but are delaying making a formal move for Spence.

Sources within the Middlesbrough camp have suggested this could be an attempt to drive down the 21-year-old’s price, with the Teessiders’ willingness to do a deal this summer well known. Stories have been circulating in the last 24 hours suggesting Spurs are set to table an initial offer of £10m, a figure that is well below Boro’s valuation.

With Isaiah Jones having established himself as a key member of the starting side, Chris Wilder is willing to sell Spence, with the Londoner’s fee set to form part of Boro’s transfer budget in the next few months.

However, it is not a case of Boro having to sell in order to conduct business of their own, and the hierarchy at the Riverside are adamant they will not be losing their club’s most saleable asset unless their demands are met.

Boro will demand around £20m before entering into detailed discussions about a possible transfer, and are relaxed about the current lack of activity.

Nottingham Forest are also keen to sign Spence on a permanent basis this summer, with the defender having played a key role in their successful promotion via the play-offs last term.

Again, though, the newly-promoted club are yet to table a formal offer as they ponder their own options in the wake of their Wembley success.

Boro are involved in a number of different transfer discussions, and have agreed a deal to sign Darragh Lenihan, who is a free agent after turning down the offer of a new deal at Blackburn Rovers.

The Teessiders have spoken to Manchester United about goalkeeper Tom Heaton, and have also held discussions with Leicester City about a potential move for midfielder Hamza Choudhury.

Boro have also been linked with Ryan Fredericks, with the full-back set to leave West Ham United as a free agent when his contract expires at the end of the month.