Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder has revealed that Tottenham were the only club to pursue a transfer for Djed Spence this summer which is why the move has been slow to materialise.
Spence, 21, is closing in on a £12.5m move to Spurs on £20m in add-ons (sky sports) after an impressive loan campaign in Nottingham Forest’s run for promotion from the Premier League.
The England U21 international is set to finalize final details before moving to north London (Football.London) which will mark the end of a long transfer saga that has rumbled throughout the summer.
Boro boss Wilder, who left the negotiations in the hands of the club’s owner and general manager (Teesside live), has since explained why the two clubs were struggling to reach an agreement.
The 54-year-old admitted Spurs were the only club in contention for Spence after the winger announced his intention to join Antonio Conte’s side, giving them time to formulate an offer.
wilder said Teesside live“It’s a boost for everyone. We’ve talked about it too much, but these agreements don’t happen overnight.
“It’s a big number for a player who didn’t play for us. He had a fabulous season [at Nottingham Forest]Everyone knows that.
“Tottenham was the only show in town so they could get out, which they did. We needed to get out, which we did. Eventually a deal was done.
“Tottenham will feel they have a very good deal for a young player, we feel we have plenty to get the money we have for a player who has barely played for the first team here.
“Forest didn’t come for him, no one else came for him, Tottenham was the only show in town. So that made it quite difficult for Neil [Bausor] and Steve [Gibson] to get the number right, but they did it and they’re comfortable with it.
“As far as I’m concerned, he’s gone, I don’t need to talk about it again and we’re moving on.”
Boosts web opinion
Wilder’s explanation of why Spence’s move was so long makes sense as Spurs didn’t need to rush to make their move.
If there were other clubs in contention it might have forced Spurs’ hand, but the move is now sufficiently complete that the book can be closed on this situation.
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