Conflicting Woody stories

Last updated : 19 January 2003 By Martyn Elliott

The national tabloids all go with the story of a new bid for the Leeds defender in light of the collapse of Robbie Fowler’s move to Man City, with the most commonly mentioned figure £10million.

But the Sunday Sun takes a different approach, claiming that no approach will be made this month because of Woodgate’s thigh injury which will keep him out for six weeks.

They also quote Sir Bobby as saying that the club won’t spend £10million on one player.

"That's slightly unrealistic," said Sir Bobby when asked about a £10million signing.

"To go from where we are to being above Arsenal won't be achieved with a miracle, it will be with investment.

"That's the only way we can go from where we are to where we'd like to be, which is champions.

"Arsenal make investments. Manchester United make investments. That's what's got them where they are.

"You can't tell me Veron, Ferdinand and Van Nistelrooy haven't improved Manchester United's chances of recapturing the title, or that bringing in Gilberto Silva and the signings of Henry, Wiltord, Ljungberg and Pires haven't made Arsenal tick.

"Investment will be the only way we get above them.

"It won't be through the youth policy - that's a long-term thing - it will be through the injection of quality players into the side.

"I'm not going to say how many players we need to win the title but investment is the only way we can do it."

But the good news is that the form of Jermaine Jenas has finally killed off any interest in Feyenoord’s over-rated Aussie midfielder Brett Emerton.

"Our priorities lie in another direction," said Sir Bobby.

"I have to say I'm always on the look-out to improve any segment of our team.

"If a good player comes on the market and I think he's better than what we've got and I can afford him, I'll push the chairman.

"But he has to be a significant player and an eye-catching deal."

It looks like the smart money is on no January signings, but expect renewed bids for Woodgate and Daniel van Buyten in the summer.