MIDDLESBROUGH refuses to be pushed by Tottenham into selling Djed Spence cheap – and they expect the star back for pre-season training unless a fee is agreed.
The 21-year-old right-back caught the eye of Antonio Conte last season when he helped Nottingham Forest rise on loan.
Talks have been going on for weeks but the two clubs are still far from agreeing a fee with the North East team asking £15m plus add-ons.
Now Boro boss Chris Wilder says he expects the player back for pre-season training in a fortnight after his extended break due to recent U21 duty in England if the asking price has not been met.
He said: “If nothing happens to Djed then he is our player and he will be back for the pre-season.
“From my perspective, the negotiations between Kieran (Scott), Neil (Bausor), Steve (Gibson) and Tottenham remain between Kieran, Neil, Steve and Tottenham. If the deal doesn’t go through, we’ll see.
“The boy obviously doesn’t want to come back here, which I have absolutely no problem with.
“He obviously sees his future a long way from here and he had a brilliant season last season.
“We expect that deal to go through, but if not then he’s our player. From the club’s point of view, the deal has to be right.”
“We try not to stand in anyone’s way. I’ve never done that as a manager and I’ve had many situations where players have had opportunities.
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“But there are always three parties involved in any deal and it has to be right for all three parties for it to happen. It has to be right for the player, and obviously from the sounds it sounds like it is [Spurs] is where he wants to go.
“Tottenham want him and we’re prepared for that, but it has to be right for us too. It all has to marry.”
Wilder added: “We will not allow anyone to take advantage of us. We’re willing to pay fair numbers, as we always have, but we won’t be silly, and we certainly won’t dump our players for a fee we don’t see fit. Ultimately, Djed is our player.”
Meanwhile, Sun Sport exclusively revealed that Wilder is close to making free agent David McGoldrick, 34, his fourth summer deal after the striker’s contract with Sheffield United expired.
He previously managed the striker at Bramall Lane and held talks with him at Boros’ training ground on Friday.
He has already secured free transfer goalkeeper Liam Roberts from Northampton and ex-Blackburn captain Darragh Lenihan.
And Wolves full-back Ryan Giles has also gone on a season-long loan.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/football/premier-league/5639618/middlesborough-tottenham-dj-spence/ Middlesbrough tell Tottenham they will not budge on Djed Spence’s transfer fee and expect him back for pre-season