Belfast Telegraph

Sol Campbell snubs Arsenal for Newcastle United

Sol campbell is expected to sign for Newcastle United today, having surprisingly snubbed his former club, Arsenal.

The former England central defender had been expected to agree a 12-month deal with the Gunners after he impressed on his return to North London last season but that prospect was all but over last night.

Campbell had a medical at St James' Park yesterday morning and, all being well, will sign a two-year deal today, as Newcastle seek a successful return to the Premier League.

A key factor in Campbell's choice of Newcastle is though to be his recent marriage to Fiona Barratt, who is based in the North-east.

The pair married in Northumberland this month and she is reportedly keen to start a family in her native region.

Campbell has only recently returned from his honeymoon. He was also disappointed that the Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger would only offer him a 12-month contract.

The 35-year-old defender has been out of contract since his deal with Arsenal ran out this summer and had been linked with Sunderland as well as Celtic.

The Newcastle manager, Chris Hughton, has concerns over his defence heading into the new season, with the club awaiting to discover the extent of Steven Taylor's shoulder injury.

Hughton is so concerned that he has offered Campbell the club captaincy — and with it the guarantee of first-team football — in order to secure his signature.

“If I look at what we've got at this moment, defence is probably the area where we're a little bit light,” Hughton said recently.

“Defensively, we are quite stretched.”

Belfast Telegraph

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