Middlesbrough defender Woodgate has future in his own hands, says his current manager

Former Leeds United and Newcastle United defender Jonathan Woodgate’s current contract with Middlesbrough runs out next month.

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka has told the club’s official website that he is happy for former Leeds United defender Jonathan Woodgate to remain at the club.

Woodgate’s current contract with Boro runs out at end of June, and it is not yet clear what the centre-back wants to do.

The 35-year-old has been on the books of the Championship club since 2012, but his time at the Riverside Stadium has been severely affected by injuries.

In fact, Woodgate’s entire career has been plagued by fitness issues, and it would not come as a surprise to anyone if he decided to retire.

Karanka has said that he will support the final decision of the former Leeds and Newcastle United centre-back.

“With Woody, I have to speak with him and the club,” the Spaniard told Middlesbrough’s official website. “I’ve always said that he can do whatever he wants here because he’s a Middlesbrough man, and I’m going to help him with whatever he wants.

“If he wants to keep playing, then I’ll try to convince the club or if he wants to join us as a member of staff I’m going to help him, because I think for the future of Middlesbrough Football Club Woody can be a good person here.”

It seems that Karanka holds Woodgate in high regard, and one can understand why. The Englishman is a very experienced centre-back who could have become one of the best in the world had he not suffered with injuries throughout his career.

Perhaps it is best for the former Real Madrid centre-back if he retires and becomes part of Karanka’s coaching staff at Middlesbrough.

Woodgate’s experience and knowledge of the game would be important for Boro, as they look to bounce back from this season’s Championship playoff final disappointment.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch