AW: Sol may return

Arsene Wenger last confirmed he is interested in re-signing Sol Campbell, so says this morning’s Daily Mirror. AW says Campbell has proved in training sessions with Arsenal that he can still be a “force“ at the highest level.
And the paper claims that Wenger admitted that Nicklas Bendtner’s return to fitness may mean he will not have to buy a striker in January as he also ruled out a move for West Ham’s injury-prone striker Carlton Cole.
When asked whether 35-year-old Campbell could still be a force in the Premier League, Wenger said: “Why not? He trains very hard. We have a level of interest for every good player.
“He has a fantastic attitude, good fitness. Of course he is not the youngest but he is in a very good shape. He can still play in the Premier League, I’ve said that many times. He is important in the dressing-room as well. He’s positive with the young players. Every year we have one or two like that.
“I think a Premier League club will sign him,” said AW. When reminded Arsenal are a Premier League club, the paper says AW smiled: “Of course.”
Campbell has been training with Arsenal for the past two months since quitting Notts County and is now a free agent and available in January. Arsenal are interested in signing Campbell on a short term contract until the end of the season and it would be the first time ever that Wenger has re-signed a former player.
Meanwhile, this morning’s Sun reports that AW has sent out a clear message to Real Madrid and Barcelona that Cesc Fabregas will still be an Arsenal player next season.
The paper says our boss was categorical in confirming that his skipper will be staying in North London beyond this summer. The redtop adds that speculation has intensified as reports from Spain claim Wenger has a pact with Fabregas that he can leave at the end of the season.
But Wenger said: “Yes, Cesc will be an Arsenal player on October 1, 2010. Why not? We’ve no intention to sell and he has a long-term contract. Contrary to what people say, he has a longer contract than you think.”
The tabloid says that both Barcelona and Real Madrid are in the hunt for Cesc, whose contract runs until 2015. And they claim that Barca have a slight edge as Fabregas was born there and learned his trade at the Barca academy before moving to us in 2003.
AW added: “The speculation comes from Spain, not here. We’ve always had the same speech about that. What they speak about in Madrid or Barcelona, how can we influence that? If one day we want to sell a player – and those clubs are interested – they can call us. They don’t need to go through a newspaper. We’re not ready to sell any of our players.”
Meanwhile, Cesc will miss today’s clash against Everton with a hamstring problem ahead of which AW seems in buoyant mood.
He said: “We go for trophies. For the moment, we’re in a position where we can achieve that. We’re not guided by fear of not achieving. We’re guided by excitement, desire and ambition. We want to go for it. You can be proud of your season when you come out and say you went as far as you could and gave everything. This team has given everything in every single game and, at the moment, we’re achieving it. We have a good chance to achieve trophies.”
In today’s Daily Mail, AW has called on the Premier League to ensure fair play to all by investigating requests to postpone fixtures because of bad weather.
Liverpool’s match with Tottenham, scheduled for 4pm tomorrow, was called off yesterday after league officials twice demanded further information from Liverpool.
And AW said: ‘The Premier League has a responsibility to check if everybody behaves honestly. I don’t have any suspicions. What maybe should happen is that the Premier League sends somebody from the Premier League to investigate the pitch and make a decision. It can be a check on the surrounding area as well.’
Next up is the Guardian which carries a story saying he pressure on Arsenal to strengthen their attack has been eased after tests on Bendtner’s troublesome groin revealed the Dane should be fit to return soon. The paper adds that Bendtner’s return to fitness, having been absent since October, has provided a lift, with Arsenal resigned to being without Robin van Persie possibly for the rest of the season due to an ankle injury. “Nicklas is doing well in training, had a good session today and the news is quite good,” AW said.
“He’ll join in with the first-team next week. His fitness is not too bad, actually, because he has worked hard. He can do the job [as a central striker], even if he’s a different type of player to Van Persie. But it gives me a few options in there.
“His return will influence [what we do]. If he’d been ruled out for two months, we wouldn’t have had a choice but to sign someone. It would have been an absolute that we signed a striker. But now we can be a little bit more relaxed. We can take it or leave it if we don’t find what we want.”
The paper says that AW has ruled out a move for West Ham’s Carlton Cole and suggested Toulouse’s valuation of André-Pierre Gignac, the France forward, would price him out of the market. “I like the player and know him well because he plays for the French national team,” AW said.
“Lyon tried to buy him last year for nearly £20m, so the price was too high. As for Chamakh, he is still available for the summer. We have not met his agent and not spoken about it but he is a player we have an interest in.”

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