Saturday, 23rd July, 2011

Manchester United are believed to have declared a late interest in Arsenal target Joel Campbell.

Negotiations between the Gunners and Campbell’s club side Deportivo Saprissa are at an advanced stage, with Arsenal prepared to pay €1M for the 19-year-old. However, the striker is currently concentrating on the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Colombia, where he is competing for Costa Rica, and has not decided his future.

Deportivo Saprissa chairman Juan Carlos Rojas Callan had hailed the impending agreement with Arsenal as a "great deal" for both the player and club, and the Gunners have spoken to Campbell’s father to win over the hitman; but Manchester United’s late admission of interest may complicate matters.

United had been well aware of Campbell’s brilliance before his goalscoring feats in the 2011 Copa America, but lagged behind Arsenal in the race for his signature.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is thought keen to snap up another young striker to add further competition for places at Old Trafford and after the exploits of Javier Hernandez during his first season in England, a period of adaptation does not seem essential.

Now Arsenal must move quickly to seal the deal otherwise United could steal a late march on their English Premier League rivals – Campbell though is determined to wait until after the FIFA Under-20 World Cup before making any concrete decisions.

The young forward is rated as one of Costa Rica’s finest prospects, although with just six international caps to his name, obtaining a work permit could delay any deal for an English club.

Arsenal and United are not the only interested parties however, with Serie A side Fiorentina also linked with the forward.

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