Exclusive: Genoa open to buying Djed Spence and ‘in contact’ with Spurs

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Genoa are in contact with Tottenham as they evaluate whether to buy Djed Spence.
The versatile right back, who can also play in midfield, joined Genoa on loan in January with a €10m option to buy, and has made eight Serie A appearances since. 
However, 23-year-old Spence has only completed a full 90 minutes three times, keeping clean sheets in draws with Empoli and Juventus and featuring in the 2-1 victory at Salernitana.
Spurs paid an initial £12.5m for Spence from Middlesbrough when he joined in 2022, but he made just six appearances before two difficult loan spells with Rennes and Leeds.

Genoa interested in taking Djed Spence permanently  

Genoa are now challenging Spence to finish the season strongly and open to keeping him at the club.

“I speak with Djed every week,” said Genoa’s sporting director Marco Ottolini, who joined from Juventus in 2022. “We have created a good environment for him. We are trying to make him feel warm and welcome here, and this will then translate into his performances on the pitch. We want to give him the right conditions to perform.
“We still have seven games to go and we want to see what he can do. Personally, I like Djed and how he is doing, and how he is training. Of course, he can do more, and he knows this, but we are in contact with Spurs and will evaluate a deal over the next few months giving us time to understand our both position and Djed’s perspective on potentially staying here.”

Tottenham want to sell Spence this summer so will be hoping Genoa and Spence do take up the option to buy.

Ottolini, who was the driving force behind bringing now-Spurs defender Radu Dragusin to Genoa from Juventus, has been tracking Spence since he was a teenager and believes stability will be key to his success.
“I remember I was at Craven Cottage in 2017 with Fulham’s then Academy director Huw Jennings. There was an Under-23s game and I noticed Djed for the first time. He went on to Middlesbrough and a loan at Nottingham Forest before being sold to Tottenham.

“So I knew all about his characteristics from back then and they were fresh in 
my mind when we spoke to Tottenham. Djed had not had good loans [at Rennes and Leeds] but I still knew his quality. And we were looking to strengthen at right-back in January.
“Through our discussions with Tottenham over Radu, the possibility of taking Djed on loan emerged. We knew he had struggled a bit at Leeds. I don’t want to say the move was a risk for us, but let’s just say it was clear his profile was not at its best and maybe he was suffering from a mentality problem. We thought maybe Genoa could provide a different environment to get the best out of him so we decided to complete the loan.”
Genoa are currently 12th in Serie A, 12-points clear of the relegation zone. A top-half finish is still possible, which would be a tremendous achievement given Genoa only came back up from Serie B last season.
The in-demand Albert Gudmundsson has scored 12 league goals to date, while even before Dragusin’s departure to Spurs for an initial €26m, Belgian centre-back Roni De Winter broke into the Genoa side and started to shine. He is currently thriving in a back three under manager (and 2006 World Cup winner) Alberto Gilardino. If the 21-year-old plays 45 minutes against Fiorentina on Monday, and Genoa stay up, an obligation-to-buy from Juventus will be triggered.
Genoa, who are owned by prospective Everton buyers 777 Partners, are moving in the right direction again after being relegated from Serie A in 2021/22. And there is long-term hope they can get back into Europe for the first time since 2009/10. Spence’s future is still uncertain, but if all goes well between now and June, he could yet prove a key part of Genoa’s project.
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