More on the Woodgate-Fowler saga

Last updated : 29 January 2003 By Martyn Elliott

As long as the former Liverpool man doesn’t change his mind again Terry Venables will no doubt be confident of holding on to Woodgate.

However, Freddy Shepherd had a breakfast meeting with his Leeds counterpart Peter Ridsdale this morning and with the Yorkshire club desperate to reduce their wage bill it appears that they are prepared to consider a £10mmillion bid for Woodgate.

Leeds United director Allan Leighton (or public enemy number one if you’re a Leeds fan) is reported to still be in favour of selling the England defender and as he is the link between the football club and the plc the final decision will be his.

Whether or not Shepherd has made a big enough offer is another matter, as some press reports this morning suggest that our bid was only £5million.

But if we miss out on Woodgate, as well as Kleberson, it’s not all Shepherd’s fault.

In the past two years we have been able to buy Craig Bellamy, Laurent Robert, Jermaine Jenas, Titus Bramble and Hugo Viana for combined fees of around £35million – unfortunately the spending has to stop somewhere or we’d end up in the same predicament as Leeds.

Hopefully Woodgate will sign before the end of the week, but if not the current squad is good enough for us to qualify for the Champions League again and strengthen in the summer.