Campbell poised to sign for Arsenal

Arsenal have confirmed their former captain Sol Campbell will feature for the reserves at West Ham tonight, with the prospect of re-signing with the Gunners.

The 35-year-old, who left Highbury for Portsmouth in the summer of 2006, has been training at the Gunners' Hertfordshire base since leaving Notts County.

A short statement on www.arsenal.com said: "Tonight's reserve team to face West Ham United at Upton Park features Sol Campbell, who plays on a Reserve League registration, with a view to a permanent move back to Arsenal Football Club."

Campbell - capped 73 times by England, playing at three World Cups - is keen to resume his career as quickly as possible after settling his contract dispute with County.

It is understood offers were also on the table from Hull and Newcastle, but Arsenal were always Campbell's first choice, having achieved great success following a highly-controversial move from Tottenham during 2001.

Arsenal tonight said talks were "ongoing" with Campbell over a contract.

Gunners manager Arsene Wenger also holds Campbell - part of his 2003/2004 'Invincibles' side and who captained Pompey to FA Cup success two seasons ago - in the highest regard.

Speaking last week, Wenger said: "He has a fantastic attitude and 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 and I think a Premier League club will sign him."

Campbell spent five years at Arsenal, and won two Premier League titles, three FA Cups and scored in the 2006 Champions League final defeat to Barcelona.

Meanwhile, Wenger insists he will not "destabilise" Arsenal again by allowing any key players to leave.

The club have every reason to be positive for 2010, having dragged themselves back into the Barclays Premier League title race - even though they let a chance to close right up on leaders Chelsea slip after being held to a 2-2 draw at home by Everton last weekend.

With Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner and England forward Theo Walcott close to returning, Wenger has no urgent need to dip into the transfer market this month to cover for the loss of long-term absentee Robin van Persie.

However, having seen progress stalled when midfielders Mathieu Flamini and Alexander Hleb moved on during the summer of 2008, the Arsenal boss has ruled out any of his regulars leaving - with Barcelona reportedly ready to launch a multi-million-pound bid for captain Cesc Fabregas.

Wenger said: "Recently we have signed Abou Diaby and Tomas Rosicky to new contracts and that is 15 players we have re-signed this season. Now what I want to achieve is to keep these players.

"We have worked very hard with them together.

"We have given them a chance at a big club and this is the way to see our policy through.

"We want to keep them together because we have seen when players have left before and we do not want to be destabilised again."

Wenger also has money to spend but will only do so on talent he believes can add to the squad.

Everton striker Louis Saha has been linked with Arsenal but Wenger remains relaxed about the issue of squad strengthening.

"We are open to new players coming in, and in every position," he said.

"It is a bit like being a fisherman - you try here, you try there.

"You have a list in your head of priorities: one, two, three, four - and you always try to get number one."

Fabregas is expected to recover from a hamstring problem in time for Sunday's game at Bolton.

The Spain international suffered his latest injury setback when sprinting the length of the field to score a crucial second goal in the 3-0 home win over Aston Villa on December 27.

However, the extent of Denilson's latest injury, after the midfielder fell to the ground during the closing stages against Everton and had to be carried off, has not yet been confirmed.

With Alex Song away at the African Nations Cup, Wenger had pencilled the 21-year-old in as cover.

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