Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed he would love for Joel Campbell to remain at the club and that he wants to keep him at the Emirates stadium this season.
Campbell has only mustered 11 senior appearances for the Gunners since joining in 2011, as work permit issues initially forced the north London club to send him on loan to Lorient on Real Betis respectively.
After receiving the necessary paperwork, Wenger still believed there was no space for the Costa Rica international in the team and he had to go out on loan again and this time around, it was a spell at Greek club Olympiakos. It was in Greece he performed admirably and even scored against Manchester United in a Champions League game.
This made Wenger recall him early last season, before the French gaffer opted to send him out on loan to Villareal again during the second half of last campaign. Campbell was reported to not be happy about this and wants a permanent move elsewhere.
Serie A side Palermo lodged a £3.5m bid for the forward last month but the offer was rebuffed by Arsenal and as per talkSPORT, the back-to-back FA Cup and Community Shield winners clearly told Palermo to up their offer for the attacker if they want to sign the player. Palermo are keen on Campbell and Arsenal are willing to part ways with the player following his inability to break into the Arsenal first team, reports had claimed.
It is believed Palermo were considering to take the 23-year old forward on loan but they changed their aim as they discovered Campbell will be available on a permanent basis.
Campbell signed a new long term deal with the Gunners before joining Villareal on loan for the second half of last season as part of the deal which took defender Gabriel Paulista to the Emirates. The loan move has now appeared like Arsenal employed the motive to secure their investment and not a statement of intent about the player’s future.
Real Sociedad, Besiktas and Benfica have shown strong interests in Campbell and the Spanish club appeared to be leading the chase until the move stalled probably due to Arsenal’s £7m valuation of the front man.
Meanwhile, Wenger is now insisting he is a huge admirer of the 23-year old and that he would love him to still be a Gunner by the close of the transfer window.
“At the moment he is here and personally I would like to keep him,” the Frenchman told Arsenal’s official website.
“I will have to sit down with Joel because I rate him highly as a player and personally if he stays here I would be very happy.”
Wenger’s comments seem to mean Campbell does have a future at the Emirates stadium and he only needs to stay and fight for his place.
However, a talk is set to take place in the coming place which will determine whether the Costa Rican will be staying or if he will leave.