Newcastle boss Keegan eyeing Middlesbrough's Woodgate

Kevin Keegan is reportedly ready to test Middlesbrough's resolve to hang on to England international Jonathan Woodgate.

Middlesbrough-born Woodgate, who celebrated his 28th birthday on Tuesday, agreed a £7million permanent switch to the Riverside Stadium from Real Madrid towards the end of last season after a hugely successful campaign on loan from the Bernabeu.

He signed a four-year deal after regaining his best form - and briefly, his England place - the result of a sustained run of fitness, something which had deserted him both during his previous spell at Newcastle and with Real.

However, the Magpies, whose defensive need remains as pressing as ever despite the attempts of successive managers to address the situation, are preparing to turn to him once again.

Keegan could be prepared to use striker Shola Ameobi as a makeweight in any deal to secure the defender's return, although he knows he will face a fight to prise him from Boro boss Gareth Southgate's grasp.

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