Leeds United: Woodgate to return?

Simon Grayson has left the door open for Jonathan Woodgate to return to Leeds United by refusing to declare himself out of the running to sign the Tottenham Hotspur defender.

Spurs have made Woodgate available for loan with the intention of sending him to a Championship club this month, and Grayson said he and every other manager in United's league would "have to consider" the option of taking the former Leeds player.

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Woodgate, 29, is recovering from the latest in a series of serious injuries that have punctured his career, and Tottenham are willing to send him out of White Hart Lane for the second half of the season.

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Doubts persist about Woodgate's physical condition some 13 months after his last senior appearance for Spurs, but he is still recognised as one of England's most gifted centre-backs and appears to have overcome a long-standing groin problem.

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Grayson said: "We're a big attraction and we've proved that in the past. We're a big football club and I want to show our intentions.

"If Jonathan Woodgate or anyone else who's played in the Premier League will make us better then we'll try and sign them. I'm sure if any manager in the Championship or the Premier League was offered Jonathan Woodgate, they'd have to consider it."

Woodgate is fondly remembered in Leeds for a career at Elland Road which ran between 1998 and 2003 and saw United's academy product make more than 100 appearances for the club. He was sold to Newcastle United by former chairman Peter Ridsdale in an unpopular attempt to reduce the club's debts.

The defender went onto play for Real Madrid and Middlesbrough before joining Tottenham three years ago. Spurs manager Harry Redknapp does not intend to use Woodgate during the remainder of the Premier League season and he is keen to see the defender take up an opportunity with a

Championship club.

Cardiff City and QPR have been credited with a firm interest in Woodgate but Leeds recently succeeded in beating Cardiff to the signing of Andy O'Brien.

Redknapp said: "I think he'd be happy to go and play in the Championship on loan because he's been out for a while.

"That would probably suit us better."

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