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Campbell lifts lid on reasons for joining Newcastle

Sol Campbell has revealed for the first time why he rejected Arsenal and made the move to Newcastle United. • Campbell blasts back at "fat" claims
• Blog: Times They Are a Changin' He has denied he was influenced in his footballing decision by new wife Fiona Barratt, whose family hail from the North East. Campbell wishes Arsene Wenger and his old club Arsenal well, but, on balance, the former England defender believes he has made the right choice for footballing reasons. The criticism has been heavy since Campbell arrived on Tyneside, after also fielding offers from Celtic and Sunderland, with insults made about his weight, and insinuations he deserted Arsenal because of the WAG factor. Campbell claims to have had an offer to sign on for another season as Arsenal. Campbell, though, told Soccernet it was not a question of WAG power, but because of footballing economics. "I cannot speak highly enough of Arsene Wenger and the way he brought me back to Arsenal, and yes I thought I would have stayed," he said. "I was made an offer for another year, but the manager had a certain budget to spend on wages and a month had gone by and nothing had moved on, so that was it. "Other clubs came in for me, I had talks with Sunderland but they signed Titus Bramble, and I had talks with Celtic, which is a fantastic club, and the offer was fantastic. But Newcastle came in, and there are many factors why this is the perfect place." Campbell has footballing ties with the Magpies' manager. "I have known the manager, Chris Hughton, for an awful long time and respect the guy and like him as a person," said the former England international. "He is a top man, and he works tirelessly for what he wants to achieve, and he wants to get everything right "Newcastle is also a pretty good place both on and off the field. On it, there is tremendous support, a wonderful atmosphere, I have played at St. James' Park, many, many times, and always loved the atmosphere it generated. "I was also offered a two year contract, and that appealed. I want to play, and felt there would be more opportunities at Newcastle than Arsenal. But I wish Arsene and the team, and the club well, I really do." Campbell hit back on Monday at press ridicule of his pre-season conditioning.

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