This is no real surprise considering how much of an impact he made in the East Midlands during the 2021/22 campaign, with the Reds always likely to be near the front of the queue if they won promotion at the end of last term.
With Spence seemingly happy at Forest and the likelihood that he will become more valuable both on the pitch and financially in the coming years, pursuing a permanent agreement for his services is a no-brainer considering Boro seem open to offloading him this summer.
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And for the player, a move back to the City Ground seems ideal considering he is likely to be one of the first names on the teamsheet under Steve Cooper, with other interested sides including Tottenham Hotspur potentially not able to offer him just as much playing time.
At 21, he’s at a delicate stage of his career where he needs to be playing every week if he is to have the best possible chance of fulfilling his potential, so his sights should be set on an exciting Forest side that could go on to establish themselves as a solid Premier League team in years to come.
The Reds have a good chance of winning this race with Spence reportedly wanting to prioritise game time over anything else and this is why the East Midlands side’s supporters should be optimistic about the chances of seeing their former loanee return.
However, the England youth international would be taking a slight risk if he does secure a return because Forest will be one of the favourites to go back down as a recently-promoted team – and even spending a huge amount doesn’t always guarantee safety as Fulham’s 2018/19 team showed.
Ending up in the second tier again would be a major step back for the wing-back in his career and to give himself the best possible chance of remaining at the top-level regardless of the Reds’ fate, he should be looking to include a relegation release clause in his contract to enable interested sides in the future to recruit him easily for a set price, without needing to endure gruelling negotiations with Forest.
This release clause should give him a bigger chance of moving on if they returned to the Championship, potentially putting his mind at ease about the personal consequences of relegation and that should enable him to maximise his performance levels.
Some would argue that Cooper’s side may not allow this deal to go through if a clause like this was included – but with Tottenham, Borussia Dortmund, Roma, Newcastle United and Brentford also reportedly willing to match his price tag – that is something Spence can use in negotiations to ensure he can force some concessions from Forest’s side.
And considering how much the promoted side wants him, they may be willing to include this release clause on the condition they can make a profit on him if it’s triggered.