Joel Campbell has looked close to an Arsenal exit for quite some time, with the Costa Rican a top target for Serie A side Palermo, according to the Metro.
Arsene Wenger is determined to keep the forward though, and claims that for the moment, Campbell is an Arsenal player.
“At the moment he is here and personally I would like to keep him,” Wenger said (via Arsenal.com).
“I will have to sit down with Joel because I rate him highly as a player and personally if he stays here I am very happy.”
It’s possible that this is nothing more than a tactical move from Wenger, with the Frenchman looking to ensure he gets the highest possible fee from any potential suitors.
The 23-year-old has hardly featured for the club since moving to the Emirates after the World Cup, and was a ghost in pre-season. It’s difficult to see him having a future at the club, but Arsene Wenger can’t exactly come out and say that.
We are more than capable of getting a decent fee for the youngster, so this is a sensible move from Wenger – if intentional. Hopefully Palermo match our demands, as it would be a colossal waste for Campbell to rot on the bench.
Had we sold him right after his excellent showing at the World Cup we probably could have garnered a much higher fee, but Wenger may have been castigated for the sale if the Central-American if he went on to be a success.