Villarreal are willing to do business with Arsenal over the transfer of defender Gabriel Paulista, but want Joel Campbell as part of the deal, according to Spanish journalist Guillem Balague.
The well-known transfer busy body has claimed on Twitter that Real Sociedad - now managed by Manchester United flop David Moyes - are keen to strike a deal for Campbell, but could be beaten to the punch by their La Liga rivals.
Balague went on to suggest that Villarreal were looking for Campbell in some sort of exchange deal if they are to let Paulista go, with Arsenal not ready to pay the 24-year-old’s release clause of €20 million. Only yesterday was it claimed that the transfer was only being held up by a work-permit, with Wenger confirming today that the move was 50/50.
Yet according to Balague Paulista’s switch to Arsenal is still some way off, and Wenger may have to allow Campbell to go the other way if he wants to see it finalised by the end of this month.
With Manchester United lurking around Paulista as well the Gunners can’t waste too much time, and the need for a new centre-back at Old Trafford looks likely to be enough to ensure that the Red Devils’ interest is backed up with a solid offer.
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Of course Wenger may not want to relinquish the services of Campbell just yet, with the youngster not having been able to showcase his best form since joining up with the first-team squad last summer.
Last season’s loan spell at Olympiacos brought the best out of the Costa Rican, and his showing at the World Cup in Brazil did little to dampen the excitement surrounding his return to the Emirates Stadium.
However he’s found it impossible to get ahead of the likes of Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud, and even when they were both injured he was shunted behind fellow youngster Yaya Sanogo in the pecking order.
Regardless of that though Wenger will know that he’s short of options up top, having let Sanogo join Crystal Palace on loan and consented to Lukas Podolski’s move to Inter Milan.