Everton and West Ham United are reportedly keeping tabs on 20-year-old Middlesbrough defender Djed Spence in the current transfer window.

According to a report from The Telegraph, Everton and West Ham United could potentially be preparing for a transfer battle this summer for the signing of Middlesbrough youngster Djed Spence.

The 20-year-old English full-back started out at the academy of Fulham and made the switch to Middlesbrough in the summer of 2018. After having spent time with the club’s Under-23 outfit, Spence became a regular from the 2019/20 season onwards and has, to date, racked up 66 appearances for the Teessiders, bagging a couple of goals in the process.

A right-back primarily, Spence has shown the capability of playing as a wing-back slightly higher up the pitch and can even slot in as a left-back too. And, it seems like this versatility, along with his potential, has now led to interest from Premier League clubs, with both Everton and West Ham United closely monitoring him.

Everton are lacking options in the right-back department currently even though Jonjoe Kenny is back from his loan spell, as captain Seamus Coleman enters the final stage of his career and has struggled with injury issues. While the Toffees used Ben Godfrey and Mason Holgate at right-back last term, neither is a natural in the position, and that is an area that needs addressing by new manager Rafael Benitez.

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To that end, a move for Denzel Dumfries of PSV Eindhoven has been heavily mooted, but progress on that front has seemingly stalled. They have now eyed Spence as an option, although the Merseysiders could face competition from former manager David Moyes’ West Ham United in pursuit of the English full-back.

Unlike Everton, West Ham do not have an urgent need of a new right-back, with Vladimir Coufal and Ryan Fredericks at Moyes’ disposal while young Ben Johnson can also provide cover on both sides of the backline. However, with contract talks not going to plans with Coufal, it would potentially come in handy for the Hammers to keep their options open, even if they are able to reach a resolution with the 28-year-old.

Udinese’s Jens Stryger Larsen has been linked with the east London giants while Spence, too, has registered on their radars as per the report. However, at this stage, neither West Ham nor Everton have made a move for the Middlesbrough youngster and are just monitoring the 20-year-old, along with fellow Premier League club Norwich City. It remains to be seen if this materialises into something concrete in the coming weeks.

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