The normally reliable Yorkshire Post claims:
"Just as Rio Ferdinand was being courted by David Beckham and the rest of the Manchester United lads during the World Cup, Jonathan Woodgate now seems to be the subject of a similar operation in Newcastle.
"Kieron Dyer, a big friend of the central defender, is understood to have spent the last few weeks paving the way for Woodgate's move to St James' Park. Indeed, he has done such a good job that the player is now set on making a move back to his native North East.
"It was Beckham's persuasive tongue which finally made up Ferdinand's mind that he needed to be playing at Old Trafford and the player eventually handed in a transfer request. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that, unless a deal is struck between the two clubs soon, Woodgate will follow the same path with a request of his own."
If true this is certainly a good sign. With bids for Daniel van Buyten, Philippe Christanval and Kleberson all looking to be dead, Woodgate appears to be Sir Bobby’s last attempt to strengthen the squad for the run in.