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By ESPN Staff

Woodgate denies Real Madrid quit reports

MADRID, May 26 (Reuters) - Real Madrid defender Jonathan Woodgate has denied reports that he was looking for a move back to England as he works to recover his fitness for next season.

'I owe Real a lot for standing by me and in return want to come back as a first team player next year,' Woodgate told sports daily AS on Friday.

The 26-year-old is having treatment at former club Leeds United in a bid to recover from a persistent thigh injury that has dogged his career at Real.

He played only nine league games last season following his return from an 18-month lay-off because of a torn thigh muscle.

'I still want to succeed at Real and am going to work hard to make that happen,' he added.

'I am expecting a tough summer but it will all be worth it in the end.'

The centre back moved from Newcastle United to Real for close to 20 million euros in 2004. He joined Newcastle from Leeds in January 2003.