Boro clinch Woody coup

26 April 2007 02:21
Middlesbrough have confirmed the permanent signing of Jonathan Woodgate for £7million from Real Madrid, with the England defender signing a four-year contract at the Riverside. The 27-year-old had joined Boro at the start of the campaign on a season-long loan, having endured two injury-ravaged years at the Bernabeu. Woodgate joined Real from Newcastle United for £13.4million in the summer of 2004, but made only a handful of appearances for the Spanish giants. He had spent 18 months on Tyneside, having sprung to prominence during a four-and-a-half year stint with Leeds United. The stopper has won six England caps to date and won his place back in the national team set-up since moving to the Riverside. Boro boss Gareth Southgate told the club's official website: "It's a real boost for us, not only for now, but in terms of planning for next season. "The opportunity to bring in a player of this quality does not happen very often. We said when he signed him on loan that it was a coup, but to now get him on a permanent basis is massive for this football club. "He has shown us this season that he's as good as there is in the Premier League and that's not something I say lightly. "We have known this last couple of months that Woody wanted to stay. He came to tell me and the chairman that he would like to sign. "Negotiations with Real Madrid have taken a little while, we had to be sure it was the right deal for this club. Now it's all done we're obviously delighted. "It shows that we're moving in the right direction if we can attract a player of this quality."

Source: ESA

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