JONATHAN WOODGATE should be confirmed as Middlesbrough’s new manager within the next 24 hours as he works away at having a new-look backroom team alongside him.

The former Boro defender has been in meetings all week with the club’s hierarchy and candidates to fill the roles in his coaching team, with talks ongoing.

Woodgate is keen to have his former Leeds team-mate Robbie Keane on board with him. 

Keane is currently Mick McCarthy’s assistant boss with the Republic of Ireland and he has been in North-East to meet chairman Steve Gibson.

Keane has indicated in Ireland that he has been offered the chance to become Woodgate's No 2 and is taking a few days to consider the offer - and it would see him keep working with Ireland.

Leo Percovich, who was part of Aitor Karanka’s coaching staff, has been on Teesside within the last couple of days to discuss a return.

However, his return is likely to be as a goalkeeper coach again, having taken on more responsibility at Brazilian club Fluminese where he is one of the assistant coaches. He is weighing up things.

Former Middlesbrough coach Steve Round has also had talks about a role in the new set-up and is weighing things up.

A new name that has emerged is Liam Rosenior. The Brighton Under-23s coach has been heavily linked with the Middlesbrough manager’s job itself, but Woodgate could have him on his backroom team.

Rosenior, 34, is a former Hull and Brighton defender and has impressed on the south coast while also juggling his job with working for Sky Sports.

Middlesbrough are looking to bring in a fresh approach following the departure of Tony Pulis and his backroom team, including Curtis Fleming and Paul Stephenson.

The imminent appointment of Woodgate will end almost four weeks of weighing up the credentials of the candidates for the post. He has always been the front-runner, despite an interest in the likes of Slavisa Jokanovic and Michael Reiziger.

Woodgate looks set to be without Stewart Downing when he does take over, although there is still a chance he could be offered a new deal.

Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray has revealed Rovers haven’t offered a contract to Downing but he is interested in taking him to Ewood Park.

“There’s no offer, there’s been conversations,” said Mowbray. “Stewart is an out of contact footballer. I’m relaxed and comfortable.

“If Stewart Downing wants to come to Blackburn Rovers then I think he’s a very talented footballer.

“If he wants to go to any of the other clubs that have been mentioned then that’s fine also, whether that’s to play more football or earn a few more quid. That would be no problem.”