Tottenham full-back Djed Spence is expected to leave on loan during the final days of the January transfer window, the PA news agency understands.
Spence has struggled for minutes since his summer switch from Middlesbrough and is yet to make his full debut for the club.
Spurs boss Antonio Conte has regularly picked Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty over the 22-year-old, who looks likely to miss out on the matchday squad again for Saturday’s FA Cup fourth-round tie at Preston.
A number of Premier League clubs are interested in securing the services of Spence on loan but Tottenham are reluctant to allow an option-to-buy clause to be included in any deal.
Cristian Stellini, Tottenham’s assistant manager, insisted on Friday a lack of consistency in training has resulted in the defender being restricted to only six appearances this season.
“Being consistent without playing so many times is not easy but being consistent in the training is really important for a type of player like Djed,” Stellini said.
“This is the area where he can improve a lot. He improved since he is here and he had great improvement but he has to follow like everyone, like Bryan Gil, like Pape Sarr.
“They improve but the season is going on. If you don’t have many chances to play, maybe you need to be consistent in the training.
“There are also hierarchies in the team so we have to respect some hierarchies.
“It is not easy when you have a number of players, with more players in the rotation than you can use. In that moment, if you want to improve we have young players that go on loan.
“But I repeat I am not the right person to speak (about transfers). I speak in general about all the players, not just Djed Spence.”
Spence’s anticipated departure is not linked to Spurs’ pursuit of Sporting Lisbon full-back Pedro Porro, who is expected to finalise a move to England after being involved in Saturday’s cup final against Porto.
Tottenham’s bid for silverware continues this weekend with a trip to Sky Bet Championship club Preston, where talisman Harry Kane may only be named on the bench following his recent bout of illness.
Kane’s goal at Fulham on Monday earned Spurs a much-needed win and sparked passionate scenes of celebration between Conte and the away supporters at Craven Cottage.
Stellini added: “For everyone this is the best moment. A type of manager like Antonio that lives with passion this job, it is important.
“It is an important moment, an important reaction but also it is important for the players to feel the support, to feel love, to feel everyone trusts in them. We are a team that works hard and this type of emotion can be a great point.”
January 23, 2023
Conte’s post-match antics at Fulham belied talk he could walk away following a difficult season on and off the pitch where the Italian has dealt with the death of Tottenham’s fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone and close friends Sinisa Mihajlovic and Gianluca Vialli in recent months.
“What I can say is that we feel a lot of love from the club,” Stellini revealed.
“We realise that this club is a special club because they were so close with us to give us all the support and that was amazing.”