Woodgate set for recall

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The Independent Football

Jonathan Woodgate's international exile is about to end with a call-up to the England squad for the World Cup warm-up friendly with Italy.

The Leeds United defender will be welcomed back after an absence caused mainly by his court case when he was found guilty for his part in an attack on a student and given community service. Sven Goran Eriksson was unable to pick Woodgate because of Football Association policy, and he has been helped by injuries to his Leeds team-mate Rio Ferdinand and Manchester United's Wes Brown.

Ferdinand misses today's game against Leicester City because of a right knee injury sustained in training this week.

Leeds are talking with the Argentinian Andres D'Alessandro. David O'Leary is keen on the 20-year-old River Plate striker and talks have begun with agents. D'Alessandro is currently valued at £16m.

Neil Lennon and Ian Nolan have become the latest players to pull out of the Northern Ireland squad for Wednesday's friendly against Liechtenstein in Vaduz. Celtic want their midfielder Lennon to rest his knee injury after today's Scottish Cup semi-final against Ayr United. Nolan, the Wigan full-back, has a hamstring injury.

Sunderland are looking to sign Luton Town's Matthew Taylor. The 20-year-old left-back has scored 10 goals this season and Sunderland are planning a cash-plus-player bid before next week's transfer deadline.

The former England defender Des Walker, who started his career at Nottingham Forest, is in training with the club with a view to securing a contract.