Tottenham Hotspur star targeted by La Liga giants as Middlesbrough deal ‘confidence’ grows

The defender could face increased competition if one of Antonio Conte’s key transfer targets arrives over the coming weeks.

Tottenham Hotspur defender Emerson Royal is reportedly being lined up for a move back to Spain as Antonio Conte looks to complete a move for one of his key targets.

Football Insider have reported Spurs are confident of finalising their move for Middlesbrough’s highly-rated wing-back Djed Spence over the coming weeks.

The 21-year-old is expected to battle with Republic of Ireland international Matt Doherty for a place in Antonio Conte’s starting eleven next season as the Italian looks to place increased importance on the role of his wing-backs.

The arrival of Spence could spark the end of Emerson’s one-year stay in North London after he joined Spurs in a £22.5million move from Barcelona last summer.

The Brazilian international scored one goal and provided one assist for his team-mates during 41 appearances last season but Conte will expect more from a position seen as key in his style of play.

The former Inter Milan manager offered an insight into his view on the former Real Betis man following an impressive display in a 3-1 win against Brighton and Hove Albion in February.

He said: “He played very well. And it’s important for his confidence, important for him.

“Don’t forget that also Emerson is only 23 years old and to come here and play in another league is not simple. There are a lot of difficulties, but Emerson is a good player and knows very well that there’s space for improvement.”

Despite that praise, there have always been doubts of his long-term future at Spurs and recent reports in Spain have suggested Emerson is likely to depart this summer as Atletico Madrid consider a move to take the defender back to La Liga.

Atleti manager Diego Simeone is said to be a long-term admirer of the 23-year-old and Spanish outlet AS have stated the former Argentina international is preparing a loan move with an option for a permanent deal included.

Serie A side Roma are also said to be monitoring the situation as they look to strengthen their squad this summer.