Arsenal fans are used to transfer dealings taking forever, but that is usually for players coming in, not going out to other clubs. But this appears to be the case with Joel Campbell.
We all had high hopes for the Costa Rican international when he arrived as a shock signing four years ago, but he has failed to impress Arsene Wenger and his eagerness to actually play football has seen him go out on loan every single season of his Arsenal career.
He has now played for a season each at Lorient, Real Betis and Olympiakos, and last season he made a January move to Villarreal where, despite playing 15 League games he did not score his only goal for the club until May. He has badly failed to live up to the early expectations, with just 18 goals in 122 senior appearances over these four years, and he certainly has no future at the Emirates.
But Wenger seems to be loathe to let him go for less than a reported £7m valuation, and has so far rebuffed bids from Besiktas, Benfica, Real Sociedad and now Palermo, who have been negotiating for the last three weeks without getting Wenger to budge on the price.
The Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini even flew to London to try and break the deadlock with Wenger, but he has now given up on getting his man. He said: “Arsenal aren’t moving from their initial positions and Campbell is unattainable as of now.
“If some margins open up for a negotiation then all for the better, otherwise we can’t do anything.”
The reports say that the Italians have offered £3.5m for Campbell, which would mean a significant profit on our original outlay for a certified flop. Why doesn’t Wenger just take the money and run? I know I would….