Jonathan Woodgate provides contract update amid Leeds, Stoke and West Ham speculation
Middlesbrough haven’t received any enquiries about the seven players who will be out of contract next summer, according to head coach Jonathan Woodgate.
Jonny Howson, Ryan Shotton, George Friend, Daniel Ayala, Marvin Johnson, Adam Clayton and Rudy Gestede are all yet to be offered new deals at the Riverside, while the situation has inevitably led to speculation ahead of next month’s January transfer window.
Ayala and Friend have been linked with Leeds and Stoke respectively, while reports back in August also suggested that Shotton was attracting interest.
And despite admitting he does expect offers for some of his star players, Woodgate is hopeful he can keep his squad intact next month.
When asked if any contact has been made from other clubs regarding the aforementioned players, Woodgate replied: “No, but I would be watching them if I was an opposition manager. I would be looking at them.
“There’s not been contact from clubs as of yet but I’m sure that will happen.
“I want to keep as many players as I can that will benefit the club. I can’t really say much more on that really.
“Hopefully I wont be losing any of them. I don’t want to be losing any of them. They are good players, especially the ones who have been playing.”
Goalkeeper Darren Randolph has also been linked with a move away from the Riverside in recent weeks, with Premier League side West Ham reportedly interested.
The Republic of Ireland international has missed Boro’s last five games with a thigh injury but could return over the festive period.
Boro face four Championship fixtures in the space of 13 days, starting with Friday’s crucial clash against Stoke at the Riverside.
The games will come too soon for Boro’s other long-term absentees, though, with Ryan Shotton, Anfernee Dijksteel and George Friend still sidelined.
When asked about injuries, Woodgate added: “Randolph has a chance of playing over these run of games, Shotton no, Dijksteel 100 per cent not, maybe Randolph. He is ten days to two weeks away.”