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Arsene Wenger will tempt defender with new Arsenal deal

PUBLISHED: 17:44 07 July 2010 | UPDATED: 17:03 07 September 2010

3 Jul 2001:  Sol Campbell (left) shakes hands with manager Arsene Wenger during a press conference at Arsenals training ground, London Colney, to announce his signing for Arsenal Football Club. Mandatory Credit: Jamie McDonald/ALLSPORT

3 Jul 2001: Sol Campbell (left) shakes hands with manager Arsene Wenger during a press conference at Arsenals training ground, London Colney, to announce his signing for Arsenal Football Club. Mandatory Credit: Jamie McDonald/ALLSPORT

ARSENE WENGER is ready to offer Sol Campbell a new contract at Arsenal, but knows the veteran defender may still decide to leave the Emirates if he can secure a better deal at another club. Campbell, 35, made a successful return to Arsenal in January, pla

ARSENE WENGER is ready to offer Sol Campbell a new contract at Arsenal, but knows the veteran defender may still decide to leave the Emirates if he can secure a better deal at another club.

Campbell, 35, made a successful return to Arsenal in January, playing 13 games in all competitions after his surprise return to the Gunners.

But he is now a free agent again and Scottish giants Celtic are ready to offer him a two-year deal that could tempt him away from Arsenal for a second time.

Newcastle are also interested in signing the experienced centre-back, but Campbell, who is getting married on July 17, has made it clear he will not be available to play or even train for anybody until he returns from honeymoon on July 27.

Campbell intimated at the end of the season that remaining at Arsenal would be his first choice, but Wenger has kept him sweating on his future as the Gunners boss raids the transfer market for new defenders.

Wenger has already moved to bring in Frenchman Laurent Koscielny, and is almost certain to buy again before the summer transfer window closes at the end of August.

But after Campbell's impressive displays towards the end of last season, Wenger is thought to be ready to offer Campbell a one-year deal with the caveat that he cannot guarantee him first team football.

Legendary Arsenal defender Martin Keown feels that would be the correct decision, and that Campbell could be a valuable presence next season.

"There is no substitute for experience," said Keown. "I think Arsenal have suffered over the last five years for not having quite enough experience.

"I am worried that he [Koscielny] is young. When he played last season I think Sol Campbell displayed an element that was missing from the team."

As reported in the Gazette a fortnight ago, French defender Koscielny's arrival for £8.1m from Lorient will be rubber-stamped this week, with the player likely to make his debut in the opening pre-season friendly at Barnet on July 17.

He will compete for a place in defence next season with Thomas Vermaelen and Johan Djourou, and while Wenger is attempting to bring in another centre-back, he wants Campbell on hand to deputise again if necessary.

French duo Mikael Silvestre and William Gallas are both set to confirm free transfer moves away from the club after their contracts officially expired last week.


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