Chelsea want Nottingham Forest standout Djed Spence as a possible replacement for Real Madrid-linked Reece James, according to TEAMtalk.
The 21-year-old will return to Middlesbrough during the summer but they’re willing to sell him for around £17 million.
James on the other hand has been mentioned in the same breath as Los Blancos, with Defensa Central reporting the interest.
Spence has been a revelation at Forest. He’s been a mainstay in the team under Steve Cooper and the only game he missed came against his parent club.
Forest will pounce to add the youngster on a permanent basis; although that is provisional on the basis that the Reds reach the Premier League.
Failure to win promotion will see some of Europe’s top clubs try to sign him. Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool and Bayern Munich have all been keeping tabs.
Spence looks tailor-made for a system that deploys wing-backs. He has thrived on the right-hand side of Cooper’s winning machine and he has bags of potential.
Chelsea want Spence in the eventuality that James does get swayed by interest from the Champions League finalists.
Spence has warmed himself to Forest supporters with a string of fine performances. As a result, it would sting if they aren’t promoted and are forced to watch another club snap the youngster up.
Chelsea want Spence and Forest could be powerless
It’s fine for the Reds to be in the mix to sign him but ultimately, signing him will be tricky even if the team are promoted.
Spence has clearly enjoyed his football but if a huge club like Chelsea comes calling there might be little the Reds can do.
Playing in the Champions League would likely turn Spence’s head, with the player keen to get some roots down in the coming years.
First team action should come into his thinking. He will have welcomed the chance to play over 40 games this season and that may count for something.
If Chelsea are seriously keen to add Spence, however, Forest might find themselves nudged along the pecking order.