Benfica refuse to give up on deal for Joel Campbell

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Benfica have been back in contact with Arsenal this week over a deal to sign Joel Campbell, according to Portuguese newspaper A Bola.

Campbell was the subject of a loan offer from the Lisbon giants last summer, but Gunners boss Arsene Wenger decided to keep the Costa Rica international to see if he had the potential to make an impact at the Emirates.

Wenger continues to insist Campbell has a future with Arsenal, but 43 minutes of Premier League football all season long tells a very different story. Benfica are still hoping to take advantage of any lingering frustration the 22-year-old may have, holding talks with the Gunners once more to see if they'll let a third forward leave on loan before the transfer window closes.

Campbell needs to play regularly

Wenger has allowed Yaya Sanogo and Lukas Podolski to join Crystal Palace and Inter Milan respectively during the last fortnight, but rather surprisingly Campbell is the forward who currently remains to fight for a regular starting spot.

With Theo Walcott back to full fitness and Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all in strong form it looks a tall order for Campbell to break into the Arsenal starting XI, even for a lively young forward who continues to show flashes of talent in fleeting substitute appearances.

Benfica to continue negotiations

Benfica are long-term admirers of a man who is no stranger to loan spells, spending three successive seasons on the continent with Lorient, Real Betis and Olympiakos before finally making his long-awaited debut for Arsenal in 2014.

Wenger definitely has a decision to make with Campbell, will his long-term development be harmed by spending effectively an entire season on the subs bench?

It looks increasingly likely that Wenger will stay stubborn and keep Campbell until at least the end of the season, but beyond that Benfica are a viable option for the Central American star, who has Champions League experience and still has the potential to make a big impact in Europe.

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Joel Campbell
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