Arsenal’s £15.8m offer to Shakhtar Donetsk may be intended to test the Ukrainian Champions’ resolve to keep their Brazilian forward, Douglas Costa, however, an imminent twist is expected, not only from the Ukrainian club reputed for their tough negotiations, but from within the Arsenal camp. Reports from tabloids are saying that the Douglas Costa deal holds key to AC Milan’s Loan move for the North London Club’s Costa Rican forward, Joel Campbell. From the way it seems, Arsenal are ready to make a loan deal work with AC Milan for the youngster’s signature, but that would be dependent on whether Shakhtar Donetsk agrees to let their striker move to the Emirates in London or not and also if Milan will be willing to pay Arsenal’s 1 million Euros loan fee.
The Arsenal forward, who spent last season on loan to Greek giants Olympiacos, is already in Austria with the team as part of preparations for the upcoming season and seems ready to fight for a place in the now star-studded Arsenal squad. The 22-year-old had previously spent his first 2 seasons out on loan at Lorient and Real Betis respectively and has not yet made his debut for Arsenal since he joined in 2011, initially due to work permit issues, which he finally sorted by receiving the permit in July 2013. The lad scored three goals for Lorient in his one year spell at the club, went to Real Betis where he appeared 28 times for the club and scored twice. Last season at Olympiacos, he pulled his best performance with many assists and a few goals in the Greek League and the European Champions’ League. For Costa Rica, he has earned over 35 caps and was a star performer at the just concluded 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Campbell plays as a forward but can also be deployed on the wings. However, to contend with in the Arsenal squad, he has wingers like Sanchez, Podolski and Cazorla on the left; Walcott and Chamberlain on the right; and forwards like Sanchez, Podolski, Giroud and even Yaya Sanogo.
Douglas Costa, 23, an attacking midfielder, who has won many titles with the Ukrainian Champions, is reportedly stirring the waters at his club by refusing to return to Ukraine ahead of the new season because of the political unrest in the country, describing living in Donetsk as ‘’deadly’’. He is said to have asked for a move away from the club but Shakhtar is insisting he must return and will stay as long as his contract still exists. The 2013/2014 treble winner with Shakhtar, who moved to the club from Gremio in Brazil, on a five-year contract in 2010, played in all competitions for the Ukrainian Champions and bagged some goals and many assists.
Now, to the twist, according to news reports, Arsenal wants Douglas Costa, AC Milan wants Joel Campbell on loan, Shakhtar Donetsk is reluctant to do business with Arsenal on Costa and the player desires a move away with one year left on his existing contract.
Whether Arsenal secures a deal for Douglas Costa or not, there has to be a sale or two of some strikers in the North London club for Campbell to have a realistic chance of regular first team football at the Emirates, next term. Costa himself may have to fight very hard to break into that star-studded attacking line-up, especially if he is to be used as an attacking, central midfielder or playmaker. Except the manager decides to loan off Yaya Sanogo and either of Campbell or Costa can play the traditional number 9, both players may find it hard to hold down a regular place at the club.
For Campbell, already in the fold, a loan move yet again, this time to an Italian Giant in AC Milan, may just catapult his careerto a height Arsenal would marvel at, which could make them either cash-in on him big time or sell a player for him to cement a place in the attacking line up. To Costa, I say, step upfront and contest with Olivier Giroud or forget Arsenal!!!