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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 April 2007, 13:07 GMT 14:07 UK
Boro confirm £7m Woodgate signing
Boro defender Jonathan Woodgate and manager Gareth Southgate
Boro boss Southgate (right) is delighted to land Woodgate
Middlesbrough have signed central defender Jonathan Woodgate for £7m on a permanent deal from Real Madrid.

Woodgate, 27, arrived at his home-town club in August on a season-long loan and has now signed a four-year deal that comes into effect on 1 July.

Boss Gareth Southgate told Boro's website: "The opportunity to bring in a player of this quality doesn't happen very often."

Woodgate said: "I'm fulfilling an ambition to play for Boro."

Boro negotiated a first option to buy the former Leeds and Newcastle defender when they set up the loan move.

Southgate admitted he has been trying to complete a permanent deal for Woodgate for some time.

The Boro boss added: "We've known for a couple of months that Woody wanted to stay. He came to tell me and the chairman he wanted 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 done we're obviously delighted, it shows that we're moving in the right direction if we can attract a player of this quality."

Woodgate repays the faith Boro showed in signing a player with a wretched injury record.

606: DEBATE
ST

He arrived at the Riverside having endured a miserable two years at the Bernabeu where injuries left him struggling to establish himself in Spanish football.

But such has been Woodgate's form and fitness that he has started 33 of the 41 games Boro have played since his arrival, earning a recall to the England side for the friendly against Spain in February.

The defender added: "I made my mind up about three months ago, to be honest, but we could not really say anything.

"I went into the manager's office and told him I wanted to sign. I think he was caught unexpectedly when I told him.

"I am extremely happy. It has been an ambition of mine to play for the club and I am doing that now - I am going to do that for the next four years."

Woodgate cost Newcastle £8m when they signed him from Leeds in January 2003, and Real paid £13.4m for his services in August 2004.

SEE ALSO
Real Madrid sign Woodgate
20 Aug 04 |  Newcastle United
Boateng confident over Woodgate
20 Mar 07 |  Middlesbrough
Woodgate deal still to go through
06 Feb 07 |  Middlesbrough
Woodgate makes Boro loan pledge
31 Dec 06 |  Middlesbrough
Woodgate suffers new injury blow
09 Oct 06 |  Middlesbrough
Boro fans urged to woo Woodgate
22 Sep 06 |  Football
Boro agree Woodgate fee with Real
18 Sep 06 |  Middlesbrough
Woodgate looks set to choose Boro
29 Aug 06 |  Middlesbrough


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