Leeds manager Terry Venables has embarked upon a last ditch effort to block the sale of centre-back Jonathan Woodgate to Newcastle United.

Newcastle have submitted a £10 million bid for the 23-year-old Woodgate and Venables looks powerless to prevent the club losing the highly-rated defender.

‘We consider it to be a fair price,” saidFreddie Shepherd, the Newcastle chairman. “Now we just have to wait for their reply.

‘We think it is a fair price, but we will not get involved in the internal politics of Leeds United,” Shepherd added.

But, asked by Sky TV if he thought Woodgate would stay, Venables replied: “Yes I do.”

Unfortunately for Venables the Yorkshire club are not in a position to turn down a £10 million bid for one of their players, irrespective of his value to the team. The plc must find ways of reducing the club’s debtwhich is approaching £80 million and following the collapse of Robbie Fowler’s move to Manchester City, attention switched to Woodgate.

Leeds have already sold or loaned out Rio Ferdinand, Robbie Keane, Lee Bowyer and Olivier Dacourt to meet debt repayments.