Arsenal Agree Fee For Costa Rica Striker Joel Campbell
Arsenal are close to agreeing a deal with Saprissa striker Joel Campbell, according to reports. Campbell is a nineteen year old left-footed centre forward who is also capable of operating on the flanks, and Arsenal have apparently reached an ‘agreement in principle’ with his parent club over a transfer.
Campbell plays for Costa Rica, and their current manager Ricardo La Volpe (former manager of Mexico and Boca Juniors) has given him a glowing review and sensationally likened him to world starts Lionel Messi and Neymar. He said-
“Who is Messi? Who is Neymar? Gentlemen of the press – I present to you: Campbell. I discovered him playing with cans.”
Arsenal executive Richard Law travelled down to Costa Rica to negotiate with Saprissa last week. There has been widespread interest in the player, with Barcelona, Real Madrid, Fiorentina, Lazio and Atalanta all having enquired about the player’s availability. But it seems Arsenal’s quick movement in the transfer market and the option to send Campbell back to Saprissa for a year has sealed the deal in their favour.
Reputed Arsenal blog Gunnerblog has been diligently following the transfer over the last week. Campbell’s agent, Joel Batica, revealed that Arsenal scouts had been in contact with him for many months prior to the Gunners stepping up their interest. He said-
“I have been in contact for several months with an Arsenal scout who works in Central and North America.
I have a partner who also worked with and knows Arsene Wenger very well and we were running things from both sides. I talked to the scout who reported to Wenger and the interest grew little by little, because Arsene Wenger initially was unaware of the player.
Now the interest is high from the Arsenal and we are here.”
The fee is believed to be in the region of $1.5 million and the deal could be completed in as less as 24 hours pending the agreement of personal terms. Saprissa’s President, Juan Carlos Rojas, told ADN Radio some time ago that an ‘agreement in principle’ had been made with Arsenal. He called it a historic deal for Saprissa and Costa Rica.
While this remains a positive signing, it is far from an established one (which Arsenal need) or a defensive one (which Arsenal need). Gooners will hope that further behind the scenes work is being put in as far as further buys are concerned.
Joel Campbell Compilation