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Woodgate rejoins hometown club

Middlesbrough have completed the signing of Jonathan Woodgate from Stoke City on a free transfer.

The defender has signed a three-year contract with Tony Mowbray's side.

The 32-year-old returns to Boro after leaving them for Tottenham in January 2008.

Woodgate (pictured) has previously had spells at Leeds, Newcastle, Real Madrid and most recently Stoke City.

Mowbray will be hoping that Woodgate can stay fit all season as most of his career has been dogged by injury.

Woodgate, who has won eight England caps, is keen to help his hometown club secure a return to the Premier League next season. He told the club's website: "The pull of helping Boro back in the Premier League is very strong for me and from what I have seen of the current squad, I think it's achievable.

"Tony Mowbray explained his plans for next season and how he is building a team that wants to get back in the Premier League as soon as possible. I want to be part of that and if we can achieve promotion in my time here it will be a fantastic way to end my career."

Mowbray is thrilled with bringing the defender back to Teeside. He said: "I've been very impressed with Jonathan in my conversations with him and his passion for the football club stands out.

"I don't need to eulogise about Jonathan's quality. He's played for some of the biggest clubs in the world. We need to build on that experience and the quality he brings to our squad."

By Sam Mansfield.

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