Report: Chelsea made contact over signing 'unbelievable' 21-year-old this summer, now he's joined Tottenham instead

Reports suggest Chelsea were considering signing Djed Spence from Middlesbrough this summer.

According to The Athletic, the Blues made contact to sign the 21-year-old early on in the transfer window, before their rivals Tottenham eventually confirmed the deal yesterday.

The wing-back excelled on loan last season for Nottingham Forest, helping them to promotion through the play offs with a narrow victory over Huddersfield Town.

Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Chelsea wanted to sign Spence

He proved himself against top flight opposition in the FA Cup, with Ian Wright saying he was playing at an ‘unbelievable level’.

Spence was named in the league’s team of the season, and it was expected originally that he would return to the City Ground on a permanent deal.

However, Antonio Conte’s side acted quickly to make their sixth signing of the summer, with the Englishman joining for around £20m.

The Athletic have claimed that Chelsea were also interested in a deal, with the intention of signing an understudy to Reece James.

Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

With the club prepared to enter talks to tie James down to a new long-term deal, it seems Spence would be playing second fiddle to the England international.

Signing for Spurs could also provide a great opportunity for the former Forest man to thrive, with Conte notably keen in his last few jobs to bring the best out of his wing backs. Blues fans will only know this too well, with them seeing the best of Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses under the Italian.

Despite the strength of James, the club have seemingly been keen to add strength in depth to his position on the right of defence.

The club were linked with a cut-price deal for Jonathan Clauss, the France international who was been in Ligue 1’s last two teams of the season.

However, it appears Marseille are set to pip the Blues to a deal for the 29-year-old, leaving them back in the market for depth in the position.

Jack is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has freelanced for The Athletic and The Sun. Jack has reported live from Premier League and Championship grounds, whilst also being published in the Non League Paper.