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Woodgate makes Boro return

Middlesbrough have confirmed the signing of former Real Madrid defender Jonathan Woodgate for his second spell at the club.

Woodgate, 32, was a free agent after being released by Stoke City at the end of last season, having made 16 Premier League starts for the Potters.

His former club Boro have moved for his services ahead of the new Championship season, with the centre-back previously spending two years on Teesside.

Woodgate, who expects to end his career at the Riverside Stadium, told the club's official website: "The pull of helping Boro back in the Premier League is very strong for me, and from what I have seen of the current squad I think it's achievable.

"[Manager] Tony Mowbray explained his plans for next season and how he is building a team that wants to get back in the Premier League as soon as possible. I want to be part of that and if we can achieve promotion in my time here, it will be a fantastic way to end my career.

"Tony also likes his teams to play football the right way, and that was also a big plus point for me. It's just a great feeling to come back to this football club.''

Mowbray added: "I've been very impressed with Jonathan in my conversations with him, and his passion for the football club stands out. I don't need to eulogise about Jonathan's quality. He's played for some of the biggest clubs in the world. We need to build on that experience and the quality he brings to our squad.''

Woodgate originally signed for Middlesbrough from Real Madrid for £7 million and went on to make 46 league appearances for the club.


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