Premier League – Wenger open to Sol return

Arsene Wenger has said he would consider bringing Sol Campbell back to Arsenal if he loses a central defender.

The 35-year-old former England man is a free agent after walking out of a five-year deal with Notts County after one game. He left the Gunners for Portsmouth in 2006 after five years at Highbury.

Wenger refused to rule out brining back the veteran, who is currently training at Arsenal’s London Colney facility.

“‘I do not know yet, I have not really thought about that. At the moment, we have four centre-backs and we will always have four,” said Wenger.

“If one would go, then I would consider it, but at the moment we are four, so I have no need to sign anybody else.

“I love Sol Campbell and the fact he came back here and wanted to practice with us shows he loves the club as well.

“You never say never in these kinds of situations.”

‘Never’ is precisely what Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has said, in light of speculation he could bring in Campbell in January to help ease a defensive injury crisis.

But Ferguson insists there is no link, and said: “I don’t know where this came from but it is all wrong. Sol Campbell was a great player but he is not a player we are thinking about getting to come to United.”

A move for Campbell always seemed unlikely given the player’s age, and the fact he has played only one League Two game since he left Portsmouth at the end of last season.

And, as Ferguson confirmed, many of the current problems – while leaving him short of options once more for Saturday’s Old Trafford encounter with Aston Villa – are unlikely to be long-term.

Jonny Evans could be back in 10 days and John O’Shea will be with us in January,” he said. “We are having a hard time with centre-backs at this moment in time but I am sure by January most of them will be back.”

The issue of United’s debt and the world record £80 million received from Real Madrid following the summer sale of Cristiano Ronaldo has been a subject of debate for some time.

Ferguson’s preference to keep his spending down last summer only fuelled talk of a squeeze being applied by the Glazer family.

It is an issue the United manager is happy to address, and he said: “It has been said I do not have the money. But the money is there if I wanted to use it.

“I didn’t see any value in the summer and I don’t see any value at the moment either. I am happy with the players I already have at the club.”

PA Sport

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