Put rivalry in perspective, urges Campbell

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The Independent Online

The Arsenal and England defender Sol Campbell has urged supporters to back the national side and put club allegiances to one side.

Campbell has suffered a fans' backlash of his own since leaving Tottenham for Highbury but he hopes that can be forgotten when England face Germany in a crunch World Cup qualifier on 1 September.

"We have got to put aside all the peoples' views on who you are playing for because the World Cup is a massive thing," Campbell told the radio station BBC London Live. "We have got to go there to go out and really beat Germany, we have got to be positive."

Campbell has been under fire from from supporters for switching from Spurs to their deadliest rivals and expressed understanding of some of the criticism.

"I can understand there are some people who will say things. You have got to look beyond that and put that in perspective. Football is a sport and people are passionate about it. But life moves on."

Campbell is still recovering from an ankle injury and hopes to use his new club's pre-season tour of Germany to improve his fitness.

Campbell said that he looked forward to fighting for his place in the Arsenal side against the likes of Tony Adams and Martin Keown. "They are fabulous players and it just makes the whole situation better for me. Competition breeds success."

Campbell also revealed that manager Arsène Wenger was one of the reasons for his move to Arsenal. "It's a fabulous club, everyone has been very welcoming to me," said Campbell. "I want to be the best footballer I can be and that's why I had to think about a few things."

The Everton manager Walter Smith is set to sign the Romania captain, Daniel Prodan, this week, and only has the final contract details to work out. Smith was impressed with the way the sweeper fitted into a new-look back three in pre-season games in Italy.

Prodan has been playing for Rocar Bucharest after a miserable 18 months at Rangers, where he was injured and then overlooked. But Smith thinks he is a bargain and Prodan is pencilled in to play with David Weir and Alan Stubbs in defence next season – raising fresh doubts about the future of Michael Ball.

Meanwhile Smith will also look at Israeli defender Shimon Gerschon this week. He has flown in with a view to a £1.2m move from Hapoel Tel Aviv.

Manchester United's transfer-seeking Jonathan Greening is stalling on a move to Middlesbrough, because he wants first-team football. The England Under-21 prospect was due to join Steve McClaren for £2.7 m this week, but is having second thoughts about the switch as he may not be in McClaren's first eleven either.

Greening could now move to Preston instead, stepping down a level to get his career going. Preston have tabled a record £2.25m bid for Greening and hope for permission to talk to him this week. West Ham are also interested in Greening but their £1.6m offer is the third best on the table.

The Crystal Palace manager Steve Bruce is signing Australian centre-half Tony Popovic this week, much to the chagrin of Preston. The defender will visit Selhurst Park to talk over a £600,000 move from Japanese side Hiroshima after Bruce stepped in for him last week.

However, Popovic had been due to join Preston today after manager David Moyes invited him over to see if he wanted to join the Deepdale club. But Bruce's contacts tipped him off about Preston's move – first revealed here last week – and the First Division side have now lost out.

The Manchester City striker Shaun Goater is the target of a new £2m bid from Wolves. Goater's future at Maine Road has been called into question with the arrival of Kevin Keegan, and now Dave Jones hopes to talk him into a move this week.

The manager of First Division Wimbledon Terry Burton is trying to sign Dundee United's transfer-seeking captain Jason De Vos.

Burton has contacted the Scottish club about the powerful Canadian defender and is willing to buy him for £750,000.

But Burton wants De Vos to join him for training this week. The Scottish club are happy with that, but the player is apparently not so keen. That has kept the door open for rival bids with Wigan, West Bromwich and Millwall all in the hunt for the stopper who first made his name at Darlington.

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