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Woodgate set for Middlesbrough job

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 11/06/2019 skysports.com
Jonathan Woodgate standing in front of a building: Jonathan Woodgate is set to return to Middlesbrough © Getty Jonathan Woodgate is set to return to Middlesbrough

Jonathan Woodgate is set to take over as the new Middlesbrough boss, Sky Sports News understands.

The 39-year-old is understood to have been back into Rockcliffe for talks on Tuesday following an initial interview three weeks ago, and is close to being appointed.

He is set to be joined by Steve Round, who will return for a second spell as assistant manager, while Leo Percovich is also close to arriving for another stint as goalkeeping coach.

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A Boro legend as a player, Woodgate had been one of Tony Pulis's assistants until the Welshman left the job at the end of the season after they missed out on the Sky Bet Championship play-offs.

Woodgate had retired from his playing days at Boro - his boyhood club - in 2016 and was immediately given a job among the academy coaching staff.

Boro owner and chairman Steve Gibson has a track record of giving the club's top former players a chance as at management, having introduced both Bryan Robson and Gareth Southgate to the role.

David Moyes, Steve Round that are talking to each other: Steve Round (right) was assistant to David Moyes at Manchester United © Getty Steve Round (right) was assistant to David Moyes at Manchester United

Ex-England centre-back Woodgate, who went on to play for Real Madrid and Tottenham in a successful but injury-plagued career, looks to be the next man given his first foray into management.

Woodgate came through the ranks on Teesside before switching to Leeds in 1996 and breaking into senior football at Elland Road, and he also had spells at Newcastle and Stoke before retiring at 36 at the end of the 2015-16 season.

a man wearing a uniform: Former Boro manager Tony Pulis in discussion with coach Woodgate © Getty Former Boro manager Tony Pulis in discussion with coach Woodgate

Meanwhile, Round was previously assistant to Steve McClaren at Boro from 2001 to 2006 and followed him to England before working with David Moyes at Manchester United and then a spell as director of football at Aston Villa.

Percovich was goalkeeping coach under Aitor Karanka, who has also been linked with a return to the club but is understood not to have held talks with Gibson about doing so.

Related: The 20 weirdest transfers in British football history [FourFourTwo]


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