Arsenal FC centre-back Sol Campbell has announced he is to leave the UEFA Champions League finalists. The 31-year-old arrived in 2001 on a 'Bosman' free transfer from north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur FC and made 197 appearances for the Gunners.
"After much consideration, I have taken the decision to leave Arsenal," said Campbell in a statement. "It is with a sense of pride, achievement and the desire for a fresh challenge that I depart. Playing abroad is something that would really interest me but at the moment I am keeping all of my options open."
Campbell won two league titles and three FA Cups, and was an integral part of the 2003/04 side that went through the entire Premiership season unbeaten. However, he struggled for form and fitness last season and saw Kolo Touré and Philippe Senderos form a solid partnership in his absence.
An injury to Senderos saw Campbell return for May's UEFA Champions League final, in which he scored the opening goal but could not prevent FC Barcelona from prevailing 2-1. He was also a part of England's FIFA World Cup squad and picked up his 69th cap in the 2-2 group stage draw with Sweden.
Manager Arsène Wenger said: "Sol has been a giant for us since his arrival in 2001. His desire and presence have been instrumental to our success over the past five years, but we respect his decision to move on and of course, we are very sorry to see him go."
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