Wheater to sign on
Middlesbrough have agreed terms with David Wheater over a new contract, whilst Jonathan Woodgate's future remains unclear.
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 26/01/08 12:19pm
Skysports.com understands that Middlesbrough have agreed terms with defensive starlet David Wheater over a new contract, whilst Jonathan Woodgate's future remains unclear.
Boro have moved quickly over the past few weeks to finalise a deal for the 20-year-old Wheater - who has made a rapid rise into the first-team picture this term.
Wheater is now first-choice on merit under Gareth Southgate, having started the campaign someway down the pecking order at The Riverside.
Boro had feared losing one of their prized assets after it emerged he was out of contract in the summer, but despite interest from rival clubs - Teessider Wheater is now set to put pen-to-paper next week.
It remains doubtful whether Wheater's fellow Teessider Woodgate would be remaining with him.
Coincidentally, Wheater's rise could be one of the reasons why Woodgate is willing to leave Boro - as he is no longer an automatic choice with Robert Huth also back and performing admirably.
Both Newcastle and Tottenham have held talks with the England defender, and now it remains to be seen where Woodgate will end up.
"At the moment, he is one of a number of players we have talked about," Newcastle boss Keegan said.
"I am not surprised others are interested. He is a great leader. He is 28 and I gave him his England debut and I know him well."
It has been claimed that Woodgate did not travel to Spurs and this has curtailed their interest, but skysports.com understands that the player's representatives have discussed terms with the North London club and they remain very much in the hunt.
"He is definitely one of the options we're looking at," Gustavo Poyet, the Tottenham assistant first-team coach.
One issue over the move is that Woodgate is whether either Spurs or Newcastle will match his wages, as he is reputed to be earning £70,000 per week at Boro.