Football: Hotline: Magpies Nail Woody Deal
Byline: Andy DUNN and Martin HARDY
JONATHAN WOODGATE will become a Newcastle player in a cut-price pounds 7million deal in the next 48 hours - after he survived a tough character check by Sir Bobby Robson.
An official bid was made yesterday. Leeds called a board meeting before the FA Cup tie with Gillingham - and now Newcastle expect to rush through the deal, that will rise to pounds 10m based on success and appearances.
Last night, Toon boss Robson lifted the lid on the Woodgate deal, saying: "Woodgate is a player that I like. I like what he can do on the park and that is why I have gone for him. He fits the bill for what we are after at Newcastle.
"I've considered all the possible problems that would come with signing Woodgate. I considered it with Lee Bowyer as well.
"My information was that Bowyer was only heading one way so I didn't waste any of my energy on him.
"As a footballer he is a first-class player, just as Jonathan Woodgate is, and that is my only concern.
"We have to think about now. And hopefully next season we will be back in the Champions League and we need a stronger squad to do that. …