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Arsene Wenger Denies Juan Quintero Bid, Talks Thomas Vermaelen, Joel Campbell

BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - JULY 19:  Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger looks on during the pre season friendly match between Borehamwood and Arsenal at Meadow Park on July 19, 2014 in Borehamwood, England.  (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)
Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images
Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistAugust 1, 2014

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has denied that the Gunners have made a bid for Porto's Juan Quintero, after conflicting reports emerged from the player's agents concerning a possible move to the Emirates, via Simon Jones of the Daily Mail.

With one of Quintero's representatives, Maria Elena Chavarro, suggesting a move was on for €20 million, and another, Ricardo Calleri, saying a release clause had to be met, the issue was rather confusing.

However, in a press conference ahead of Arsenal's regular home pre-season tournament, the Emirates Cup, Wenger was categorical concerning a bid for the 21-year-old midfielder, as per the club's Twitter feed:

Wenger has a chequered history of denying transfer rumours. Just days before signing Mikel Arteta from Everton in 2011, he shut down any talk of the Spaniard's arrival:

Thus, any Arsenal fans holding out hope that the Colombian playmaker could be making the switch to north London should not give up just yet, and the Daily Mirror's Ed Malyon believes he would be a terrific purchase:

A brilliant creator and a skilful passer of the ball, Quintero would fit well into the Gunners' style of play, although they do currently seem to be overburdened with attacking midfield talent and should potentially focus on signing another out-and-out striker.

Wenger also confirmed that forward Joel Campbell, who performed admirably for Costa Rica at the World Cup, was a part of his upcoming plans for his side and could play against Benfica on Saturday:

The 22-year-old spent last season on loan at Olympiakos but impressed in Brazil, where he scored against Uruguay in the group stages as Costa Rica reached the quarter-finals.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 12:  Marc-Antoine Fortune of Wigan Athletic is tackled by Thomas Vermaelen of Arsenal during the FA Cup Semi-Final match between Wigan Athletic and Arsenal at Wembley Stadium on April 12, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike He
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

On the other hand, the 64-year-old Wenger only further fuelled speculation that club captain Thomas Vermaelen may be on his way out of the Emirates:

The Belgian centre-back, who lost his starting place in the side last season, has long been linked with a move to Manchester United, as per Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail.

Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal is eager for central defensive signings with Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand having departed, and Vermaelen has only one year left on his contract, making him an attractive option.

Arsenal may be unwilling to do business with a Premier League rival, but if the 28-year-old is keen on the move, they may be left with few options.

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