Middlesbrough insist Woodgate will not make early Real return

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The Independent Online

Middlesbrough have dismissed suggestions that Jonathan Woodgate could return to Real Madrid next month.

Claims that the Real manager, Fabio Capello, could take the England defender back to the Bernabeu Stadium during the transfer window caused consternation on Teesside.

However, a Middlesbrough spokesman was quick to deny them. He said: "There is simply no issue. Jonathan will remain on loan with us until the end of the season."

Woodgate arrived at his home-town club in August on a season's loan after Boro had secured an option to make the switch permanent at the end of the campaign if all parties agreed.

The former Leeds and Newcastle centre-half has appeared in 13 of the 15 games the club has played since signing.

Woodgate missed Monday night's 2-1 Premiership defeat at Fulham with an ankle problem, but is expected to return for the relegation encounter with Charlton on Saturday.

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