Nottingham Forest plan to bid for Djed Spence to keep him away from the clutches of Tottenham, Arsenal and Brentford.
The right-back has been instrumental in Forest’s promotion campaign to the Premier League while on a season-long loan from Middlesbrough.
Bayern Munich have also been among clubs tracking his progress there and Spurs and Brentford are said to have made recent inquiries about him.
But Forest hope they now have a stronger chance of being his next permanent destination after triumphing over Huddersfield in the play-off final on Sunday.
After the game, Spence appeared to make a comment towards former Boro boss Neil Warnock, who was in charge when the 21-year-old was allowed to join Forest last summer, tagging Warnock’s new Twitter handle alongside a picture of him celebrating in the changing rooms at Wembley.
Boro have preferred Isaiah Jones, who is more of a wing-back, over Spence this season and are happy with the way Jones fits into current boss Chris Wilder’s system – meaning Spence will almost certainly leave the Riverside permanently this summer, with two years left on his contract there.
Cooper ‘looking forward to a positive future’
Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper on Sky Sports Football following their play-off final victory:
“I’m really pleased for the players and the supporters. I think we played well in the first half. And of all the good goals we’ve scored this season, we get one like that – but it does not matter. And we managed to see it through. Everyone connected to this football club deserves this today. We’re looking forward to a positive future.
“It’s relief of course but it’s pride. I love being at this football club. It’s changed my life. My family are here, the players’ families are here – this football club is about belonging to a city. It comes together on matchday. We’ve taken over Wembley today and are in the Premier League.
“This football club is built on positive eras from the past and we want to build on that. We are proud of that but at the same time we need to think ‘what if?’ Can we get the Premier League? Can we play attractive football? What if we can develop young players? And that’s what we’ve done showing an attitude and a commitment to not get beat. We deserve this.
“It’s a glamorous world being a footballer and a manager but it’s also a harsh and spiteful one. And I just wanted the players to know I will be their biggest supporter and give them everything through thick and thin. It does not mean I ‘ “m soft with them or do not demand of them but everybody loves to be loved. That’s what we’ve tried to do with the players.”
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