Joel Campbell emerges as key transfer target for Benfica

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Football News

Joel Campbell is now a transfer target for Primeira Liga champions Benfica, according to recent speculation.

Reports from the Portuguese press cited by The Daily Mail claim that As Águias boss Jorge Jesus is keen to sign Arsenal's Costa Rican international forward after losing Oscar Cardozo to Trabzonspor earlier this month and having seen potential replacement Abel Hernandez edge closer to a move to Premier League outfit Hull City.

Impressive form

Campbell has certainly been regarded as hot property this summer, with the 22-year-old given a starring role for his country as they surprisingly progressed to the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup.

His fine displays in Brazil were merely a continuation of the encouraging form he had shown on loan in the Greek Superleague with Olympiakos last season, with Campbell also helping to give David Moyes' Manchester United a real run for their money in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Such an impressive loan spell led to £8 million-rated Campbell returning to the Gunners' first-team fold for the 2014/15 campaign and he has so far made one substitute appearance in Saturday's last-gasp 2-2 draw with Everton at Goodison Park.

While it is perfectly understandable that Campbell is not yet considered by Arsene Wenger as a permanent starter at the Emirates Stadium, it is certainly feasible that all of the recent praise could have led Campbell to believe that he is already more than worthy of a more prominent role elsewhere.

Turkish giants Galatasaray - who have been placed in the same Champions League group as Arsenal - have also been credited with a strong interest in the former Saprissa man, with Cesare Prandelli looking to make further reinforcements to his squad at the Türk Telekom Arena.

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Giroud injury

While there appears to be no shortage of interest in Campbell from the continent, it surely has to be considered extremely unlikely that Wenger will permit him to leave North London prior to the deadline.

The foot injury sustained by first-choice striker Olivier Giroud last weekend leaves the Frenchman somewhat light on forward options, despite his insistence that Alexis Sanchez - who notched the only goal of the game on Wednesday night as Arsenal progressed to the group stages of Europe's most-elite club competition following a nervy 1-0 win over Besiktas - was bought to play primarily through the middle of the pitch.

And with Lukas Podolski continually linked with the likes of Serie A duo Juventus and Napoli, Campbell should find himself a Premier League player beyond the end of August barring any late additions.

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