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SPORTS UPDATE

Tottenham agree £20m deal for Djed Spence

Tottenham have reportedly agreed a £20m deal to sign Djed Spence from Middlesbrough this summer.

Spence was magnificent for Nottingham Forest on loan from Boro last season, playing a huge role in their promotion to the Premier League.

But the 21-year-old has rejected the chance to go back to Steve Cooper’s side in favour of a move to Spurs, according to The Guardian.

The Fulham academy graduate will be Antonio Conte’s third signing of the summer, following the arrivals of Fraser Forster and Ivan Perisic, with the latter – like Spence – offering the Italian boss further options to play at wing-back.

Their arrivals could spell trouble for Sergio Reguilon, Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty in the wide areas.

Spence will join a wealth of talented English right-backs in the Premier League, and will hope to be vying with the likes of Kyle Walker, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Reece James in the future for a spot in the senior international squad, having made his U21 debut in March.

Spurs sporting director Fabio Paratici will now likely turn his attention to bolstering the club’s centre-back options.

They’ve been linked with Inter Milan star Alessandro Bastoni and Villarreal’s Pau Torres, while a report on Friday claimed Spurs are ‘big admirers’ of Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi, although they will have to pay the Eagles a ‘huge fee’ to lure him from Selhurst Park.

Any new centre-back will likely feature alongside Cristian Romero, who impressed many in his first season in the Premier League, including former Spurs centre-back Jonathan Woodgate, who praised the allround “balance” Conte has brought to the defence.

Woodgate said: “I like Romero, I watched him quite a bit when he was at Atalanta.

“He’s a front foot defender, he’s aggressive. I like his authority. Him and Dier – then you’ve got Ben Davies on the left side, it brings good balance. Conte’s improved that three so much since the start of the season.

“What Conte’s done since he’s come in is get the fans right back on side. It’s only since Pochettino that the fans have really been onside with a manager.

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