Spurs open Woodgate talks

Tottenham granted permission to speak to Boro defender

By James Dall.   Last Updated: 25/01/08 4:57pm

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Woodgate: Spurs target

Woodgate: Spurs target

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Tottenham have been granted permission to speak to Middlesbrough defender Jonathan Woodgate, according to Sky Sports News.

Newcastle United were linked with the centre-back, who has three-and-a-half years remaining on his current contract, earlier this week, but Boro manager Gareth Southgate moved to deny the rumours.

Reports claimed that the Magpies were keen to open talks to take Woodgate back to St James' Park, however it now appears Spurs have gained the upper hand in their bid to sign the 28-year-old in the January transfer window.

Over £7million

Woodgate is understood to have become increasingly unsettled with life under Southgate at Boro and he could now be set to depart his hometown club.

Middlesbrough made a move to secure the defender on a permanent basis last summer after he enjoyed a successful season-long loan at the Riverside Stadium in the 2006/07 season.

Boro paid around £7million to take Woodgate from Real Madrid, and it is understood that the club have received an offer from Tottenham that is in excess of the fee paid to the Spanish giants.

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