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04 October 2023

Germany star Podolski puts Arsenal on alert

Podolski has scored 15 goals in 17 starts for Cologne this season. (FILE)

By Staff

Arsene Wenger has been put on alert as Cologne striker Lukas Podolski has given the strongest indication yet that he is willing to move to England.

The Gunners boss is a known admirer of Podolski and was linked with making a bid in the January window.

In fact he has been on everyone's radar during the last two transfer windows.

He was widely considered to join the Emirates in January as a backup to captain Robin Van Persie.

But the former Bayern Munich striker decided to stay in Cologne to cement his position for the upcoming Euro tournament. He has 43 goals in 95 caps for Germany.

However, a string of broken promises at Cologne where he has scored 15 goals in 17 Bundesliga starts, has left the six-foot German disillusioned.

"I was told that a team would be built around me so that we could establish ourselves first in the top eight and then in the top six," he told Bild am Sonntag. "I had lots of promises made to me before my move here and I wanted to play my part in achieving these things together.

"(Former Cologne coach) Christoph Daum once said that lots of promises are made, but few are maintained here and I think my situation confirms that. When you see what perspectives were shown to me and what has actually happened in the end, it is disappointing."

He started his career with Cologne before moving to Bayern Munich, but he failed to find top form and returned to Cologne three years ago.

Podolski, 26, is in the final year of his contract this summer, meaning Arsenal would be able to negotiate a cut-price deal.

He has made no secret of his preferred destination.

"If I were to move, then the way things stand at the moment, I would move abroad. I speak German, Polish, English and Cologne dialect - I think you can get anywhere with that combination," said Podolski.

"I am always receiving inquiries and if they had been really attractive, I wouldn't be here now. But seriously, I will make up my mind no sooner than the summer.''