Newcastle United are planning to make a œ15million double swoop for Brazilian World Cup winner Kleberson and Leeds United centre-back Jonathan Woodgate.
Manager Sir Bobby Robson confirmed that he has made enquiries for both players and it’s understood that club chairman Freddy Shepherd has flown to Brazil to negotiate a œ5m bid for Atletico Paraense midfielder Kleberson, while Robson discusses a œ10m bid with Woodgate.
‘All I can confirm to you now is that the club have actually made communication to both clubs in respect of the two players concerned,’ Robson said.
‘There’s a lot of communication and dialogue that will have to go on before anything happens in that respect, but all we’ve done is made preliminary investigations into those two players.
‘It’s as simple as that and I can say no more than that.’
News of the deals will come as a bitter blow to Leeds United and their increasingly disgruntled supporters. Not only are they faced with prospect of losing one of their brightest prospects in Woodgate, but they also had first option on the Kleberson but are now powerless to prevent Newcastle hijacking the move.
Leeds were confident of signing the Brazilian until Robbie Fowler’s move to Manchester City collapsed. Without the money from the sale of Fowler, the bid for Kleberson was aborted and to rub salt into the wound, Woodgate, hitherto regarded as one of the club’s ‘crown jewels’, was made available for transfer.
Woodgate is currently sidelined for with a thigh injury but he is expected to be fit again in mid-February and Newcastle are keen to seal the deal while the transfer window is open.