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Sol Campbell
"I dream about playing at the top level"
 real 56k

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
"For me, he is the best"
 real 56k

Sol Campbell's agent Sky Andrews
"Sol's proved that this is all about football"
 real 56k

BBC Sport's Alistair Yeomans
"Campbell's decision is a massive boost for Arsenal"
 real 14k

Tuesday, 3 July, 2001, 14:10 GMT 15:10 UK
Arsenal clinch Campbell signing
Sol Campbell shakes hands with new boss Arsene Wenger
Sol Campbell (l) shakes hands with his new boss
Former Tottenham defender Sol Campbell has ended months of speculation by signing a four-year contract with rivals Arsenal.

Although he was linked with some of Europe's leading clubs, Campbell decided to remain in England to boost his international prospects.

Campbell, who joined the club on a free transfer, told a Higbury news conference he was all too aware of the problems he faced.

I've signed a four year contract and I believe in that time I can make some great strides in my career
  Sol Campbell
"I've made my decision and I just hope people respect it," Campbell said.

"Obviously I know what happened to (former Arsenal and Spurs boss) George Graham and what he had to deal with.

"It is something I am prepared to face and hopefully it won't be a major problem for me. "

The 26-year-old said he hoped the Spurs fans would respect his decision.

Campbell is aware of the problems he faces with the Gunners
Campbell is aware of the problems he faces with the Gunners
"I spent a lot of years at Tottenham and while I was there I played my heart out and tried everything to help move the team in the right direction," he said.

"But the time finally came to make a decision to move on."

Campbell said it had been a "difficult decision" but he was happy to be staying in London.

"Staying in the Premiership was important to me," he said.

"I was very keen to stay in the Premiership. Sven Goran Eriksson, the England coach, is here and the majority of games he sees are here in England.

"It was a big decision. I could have earned more money by going abroad but I felt this was the place to be."

Arsenal have not disclosed any details about Campbell's contract but his salary demands will undoubtedly make him the club's highest paid player.

Major boost

The transfer is a major coup for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who is currently battling to keep midfielder Patrick Vieira.

Campbell's capture could now persuade the Frenchman to make a U-turn and see out the remaining three years of his contract.

I tried to attract him here because he is the best
  Gunners boss Arsene Wenger
Wenger was alongside Campbell as the Gunners announced that the England defender had joined the club on a Bosman-style free transfer.

Wenger said: "I was told many times that I had to improve my defence. I tried to attract him here because he is the best.

"After chatting to him I felt he is a very ambitious guy who wants to improve and play at the top level. That convinced me he is the right player for us.

"I felt we could not compete on a financial basis with the top clubs who were after him but we could give him a football challenge.

"I felt we gave him something that was important to him - to be close to where the national football team play.

"It is a huge signing for this club. He has to prove it and I have to prove it."

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See also:

27 May 01 |  Tottenham Hotspur
The trainee who turned
29 Jun 01 |  Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool in late Campbell bid
09 Jun 01 |  Tottenham Hotspur
Campbell: I won't return
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