Arsenal link with Betis over before it began; 'Spanish Ronaldo' looking less probable

Barcelona V Betis

Arsenal's supposed link up with Spanish side Real Betis is appearing less likely to materialise, after Joel Campbell signed a season long loan with Olympiakos instead.

At the end of the season, reports emerged that Arsenal and Real Betis were contemplating a partnership agreement which would hopefully be beneficial to both parties.

The La Liga side had taken Joel Campbell on loan for the 2012/13 season, using the young Costa Rican as a regular out on the right wing, where he began to win plaudits for his performances.

Betis were said to be keen on bringing Campbell back to Spain, and a partnership agreement would have seen potentially more Arsenal players get a further taste of La Liga football on loan.

It would even have had the benefit of seeing the Gunners offload some of their unwanted players, with Betis credited with an interest in helping Marouane Chamakh realise his unfulfilled potential.

Perhaps the most intriguing element however would see Arsenal potentially having a leg up on their rivals in having an advantage to sign Betis' most coveted players.

Talks were said to have begun regarding Campbell between Arsenal and Real Betis as far back as April, but having reached late July without a resolution, the player was last week loaned out to Greek side Olympiakos instead.

It will be his third spell on loan in his third country in as many years, having spent the first season on loan with Lorient in France's Ligue One.

Betis' financial issues had meant they were unable to commit to Campbell's wages, and they lost out on him.

With Marouane Chamakh seemingly off their radar too; possibly for the same reason, it appears the much vaunted link up between the clubs is looking over before it even began.

For it to take off, it needed Campbell to re-sign with Betis for the season, acting as a cornerstone for any future deals to be based around.

It's likely the relationship between the two clubs is looking a little ragged, especially from Betis' end, disappointed Arsenal could not be more charitable, but as far as the Gunners are concerned - why should they be?

Well it may have cost them, or at least dealt them a blow, in any plans they had to sign rumoured transfer target Alvaro Varillo, dubbed the 'Spanish Ronaldo'.

Varillo is not a new target, he was first linked with Arsenal a year ago, and the teenage winger was seen as the most exciting prospect the club could hope to get hold of themselves as part of a link iup.

This now of course looks less likely, although Arsenal of course have other priorities with Bernard said to be their top target for a wide berth at present.

All is not lost, for right now - Arsenal right-back prospect Hector Bellerin is currently playing alongside Vadillo for Spain's side at the European under-19 championships in Lithuania.

He may just have a quiet word with the winger, but realistically - Arsenal and Betis' relations becoming more strained than pleasant makes a deal look further away than it could have been.

image: © cedric_ramirez

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