Portuguese publication O Jogo claims Benfica did everything in their power to persuade Arsenal to sell Joel Campbell aside from offering the Gunners their €12 million asking price.
Apparently president Luis Felipe Vieira sanctioned a bid of €10 million for the Costa Rican attacker only to reach Arsene Wenger’s voicemail and a message that said, “I’m in Rome today, learning little bit how to use vanishing spray. Please try little bit Dick and little bit Ivan in the London office.”
The report includes a quote from Campbell’s representative, Joaquim Batica, who claims that Arsenal refused to let the 22-year-old leave, a stance that contradicts the notion the player had a price on his head but one that tallies with Wenger’s comments last week:
“We’ve had lots of enquiries and turned them down. There have been plenty of clubs interested, but I don’t know how many.
“Once I say to my assistant he won’t go out on loan, even if people ask about him, my assistant doesn’t even tell me. When I say no it’s no. He’s definitely a target and a player who is wanted by many clubs.”
There is another hypothesis as to why Benfica got the cold shoulder. A Bola, another Portuguese paper (not to be confused with the organ-eating virus), claim Campbell was the juicy carrot dangled as part of a player-plus-cash deal for Sporting Lisbon’s William Carvalho.
The Gunners have long been linked with the defensive midfielder and apparently offered Campbell on a season long loan plus €16 million in cash. If you happen to be by a beach, grab yourself a shell and put it to your ear…apparently you can still hear the laughter coming from the Estádio José Alvalade. Or so A Bola would have you believe.
Oh, but wait…apparently that whole story could be guff as well. As Sport Witness reveal here.
So what do we know? Not much for sure, aside from Campbell is an Arsenal player until January at least. No doubt the fun and games surrounding his future will kick off again in a couple of weeks.