Southgate hopeful over duo
By Steve Bramley
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Gareth Southgate is hoping to keep Jonathan Woodgate and Mark Viduka at the Riverside.
Gareth Southgate is hoping he will soon be able to secure deals to keep Jonathan Woodgate and Mark Viduka at The Riverside.
Woodgate's year-long loan deal from Real Madrid is due to expire at the end of the season, while Viduka is out of contract in May.
The former Leeds and Celtic striker, who is reputed to be a target of a leading Italian side, has already entered into tentative discussions over a new deal and Southgate hopes England defender Woodgate will follow suit.
Southgate has vowed not to rush either man into a decision but is hopeful that by securing both it will help attract other new targets to Teesside for next season's campaign.
"I do not know if we can compete with huge offers, but we hope we can compete and impress upon people what we are trying to do here," said the Boro boss.
"We hope we are building something the players want to be a part of, and if we can keep those sort of players, it sends a signal out to other players who might be thinking about coming here that we are doing some things right.
"That is another reason it is key for us to try to keep hold of those guys.
"Players today will earn money whatever they do. They are in a very fortunate and privileged position in that respect.
"But the top guys want to have success and they want to be part of something they enjoy and that they feel is going in the right direction.
"At the moment, I think those two lads feel that way. But I respect the fact they have lots to think about."