Joel Campbell has delivered a shocking blow to Arsene Wenger after asking to leave Arsenal before the close of the transfer window, reports O Jogo.
The Costa Rican striker was told to return to north London after three years on loan after an impressive season for both Olympiacos and his country. Wenger was happy to keep Campbell in his squad, but has since used him sparingly.
First team football
Having been a star name in Olympiacos, Campbell will not be satisfied with his current role in the Arsenal squad. The 22-year-old has yet to start a game for the Gunners this season and has been limited to one cameo role in the Premier League.
With Benfica ready to offer him a place in their starting line up, Campbell is keen to make the switch to Portugal. He has reportedly told Wenger to let him leave should a suitable offer arrive.
Benfica are willing to pay up to €10 million to take Campbell away from the Emirates but Wenger has so far rejected advances. The manager said a number of clubs have made propositions for Campbell, but that he is not willing to let the forward leave.
He told reporters: "We've had lots of enquiries and turned them down. There have been plenty of clubs interested, but I don't know how many," Gunners boss Wenger said.
"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."
Wenger's reluctance to let Campbell leave will, in part, be down to the devastating injury to Olivier Giroud. The striker had surgery on a broken tibia last week and is not expected back until January. Arsenal would, therefore, need to secure another striker if Campbell was to leave.
Arsenal reportedly made a late enquiry for Loic Remy, but were told his deal with Chelsea was too advanced for them to interrupt. They have also been told by Manchester United that they will not be allowed to sign Danny Welbeck.
Campbell's determination to leave north London may force Wenger to act though. Forwards are few and far between on the last day of the market and Arsenal would struggle to find a replacement.