Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate says his club have already agreed a fee with Real Madrid to turn Jonathan Woodgate's loan spell into a permanent deal.
The injury-jinxed centre-back has excelled in his two games for Boro since arriving from Spain, being handed the captain's armband for his hometown club for the 0-0 draw with Bolton.
Southgate said after the stalemate: "We have a fee agreed with Real Madrid. Now our job is to encourage him to stay with us.
"The fans have already shown how much they think of him. Now we have to prove we can give him what he wants and develop him as a player.
"Jonathan has a presence that filters through the side.
"I sensed his desire immediately. It is great to have someone come from the club he has and set the example he does.
"I know he was disappointed not to prove himself over there, but he is still as good a centre-back as any around."
Woodgate was more cautious, concentrating on staying fit for the time being.
He added: "I am definitely here for the year whatever happens and then we will see. Right now I don't know.
"After all I've only played two matches, let's not get carried away. It was a great honour to captain my home town team."