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Football: SOL CUTS NEW DEAL; Arsenal star will sign for pounds 50,000 a week less.

Byline: JOHN CROSS

SOL CAMPBELL will accept a staggering pounds 50,000-a-week pay cut to stay with champions Arsenal.

England defender Campbell, 29, signed the biggest deal in Premiership history when he joined Arsenal from Spurs on a pounds 100,000-a-week contract three years ago.

But his pounds 20million deal was thanks to a Bosman-style free transfer, as his huge signing-on fee was spread over the course of his four-year contract. Campbell and his agent Sky Andrew have now begun negotiations over a contract extension and his wages will fall into line with the club's other top earners, Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hopes to tie down Campbell to the deal before the start of the season and the indications are that he will sign on again at Highbury.

Vieira will then become Arsenal's top earner on about pounds 60,000 a week while Campbell will pick up around pounds 2.5m a year, which is at the same level as Henry. Wenger will be keen to tie down the backbone of his team on long-term deals. If Campbell signs the new contract it will prove he values success ahead of cash.

Campbell will also have fresh competition in central defence this season alongside Kolo Toure as Swiss youngster Philippe Senderos has returned to full fitness after missing much of last season through injury.

Wenger has high hopes for 19-year-old Senderos.

His promise will mean that French misfit Pascal Cygan will be allowed to follow fellow central defender Igor Stepanovs out of Highbury.

CAPTION(S):

CENTRE HALF! Sol Campbell's wages will be cut by 50 per cent
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 12, 2004
Words:271
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