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Southgate: Woody will stay

22 December 2006 07:26
Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate has rubbished reports in Spain that on loan defender Jonathan Woodgate could return to Real Madrid. Boro officials have already denied speculation that Real coach Fabio Capello could recall the England international from his season-long stay on Teesside. And now Southgate has moved to scotch the rumours of a January exit for Woodgate and insists he wants to keep the 26-year-old centre-half on a permanent basis. "I do not know where the story has come from. He signed for us on a season-long loan and that is it," said the Boro chief. "He is enjoying his football with us, we are delighted with what he has been doing and obviously we are hoping we can take the deal beyond this season. "But there has never been any suggestion he would not be here for the remainder of the season. "You need experience and you need quality, and he has both of those attributes. "He has had a big impact on the team and on the club since he has been here and we missed his experience and his quality the other night at Fulham, no question."

Source: ESA