JONATHAN Woodgate will do everything he can to keep Middlesbrough’s young winger Hayden Coulson this summer amid interest from a clutch of Premier League clubs.

Numerous top-flight scouts, including Newcastle United, have been to watch the 21-year-old in action in recent weeks having been impressed with his first full season in the Boro first team picture.

The Gateshead-born Coulson is regarded as one of Middlesbrough’s top prospects and Woodgate is a huge fan of his, and only recently he suggested the youngster should have been promoted to the Football League stage earlier.

But Middlesbrough are in a strong position to keep him because he signed a new contract just before Christmas, tying him to the Riverside until the summer of 2023.

There has been speculation that Newcastle are preparing a £10m offer at the end of the campaign but Middlesbrough would fight any offer as hard as they could.

Woodgate is keen to build a team around Middlesbrough’s promising youth, with Coulson, Djed Spence, Marcus Tavernier and Dael Fry all key members of his side’s outfield this season. He has also given Aynsley Pears his chance between the posts.

Clearly the division Middlesbrough are playing in next season will have a bearing on the chances of being able to keep hold of their top prospects. The length of his contract, though, certainly helps Woodgate’s cause.

Coulson was handed his debut at Luton on the opening weekend of the season and has gone on to play a key role for Middlesbrough with skipper George Friend sidelined for much of the season.

In recent matches he has been pushed further forward to play as a winger rather than a full-back and Woodgate actually believes that is his better position.

Coulson is likely to keep his place in the final third when Swansea City head to the Riverside on Saturday. The victory at Charlton lifted Boro two points clear of the relegation zone.