Other than being able to order copious amounts of beer and food my German is pretty limited. But according to a recent article by German publication Bild, Polish-born, but German-international Lukas Podolski has already agreed to personal terms with good old Arsenal. It could be true, but it should be taken with a grain of salt. The 26-year-old striker is currently plying his trade with Koln of the German Bundesliga and he’s under contract with the club until the end of the 2013 season.
Any move, if it does happen, would come in the summer. Podolski has often professed his love for Koln, but is believed to be unhappy with their success or lack of it over the past few seasons. Podolski turned down the chance to sign an extension with Koln, saying he wanted to wait until the Euro 2012 tournament has finished and the next transfer window opens before deciding what he wants to do career-wise.
Reports out of Germany stated that Koln offered to double his wages and are willing to pay him five million euros a year. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger tried to pry the goalscorer away from Koln last year with two bids, but the German club rebuffed him. However, if Podolski doesn’t sign an extension before the next transfer window closes it’s highly likely that he’ll be sold.
Another German publication called Express said that Podolski hasn’t signed anything as of yet, but Arsenal is hoping to get his autograph on an agreement before somebody else does. It’s believed that fellow Bundesliga club Schalke and Lazio of Italy also has the left-footer on their radar and are willing to pay him six million euros a year. Compared to the outrageous wages some players are making, Podolski has at least produced on the pitch this season so far and has 15 goals in 19 games and has set up four others.
Whether he’s agreed to personal terms with Arsenal or not doesn’t mean anything since he’s still under contract for another year and it’s up to Koln to decide who they want to sell him to and for how much. It’s more likely that Podolski, like Robin van Persie, will wait to see how the season pans out and then come to a decision. It’s hard to believe that he’d sign with Arsenal now while the team could still end up missing out on the Champions League next season.
In addition, Arsenal isn’t likely to commit to a transfer fee and wages with anybody until they know if they’ll be raking in any Champions League money and until they know if van Persie is staying or jumping ship. Football is full of rumours and about 10 per cent of them actually come true. This one could be confirmed as soon as tomorrow, but it might be just another pipe dream. In fact, Wikipedia already had him listed as an Arsenal player on their website today, but that may be soon changed.
With 91 goals in 233 Bundesliga games with Bayern Munich and Koln and 43 more in 95 international matches with Germany, Podolski would be a marked improvement over the likes of Wenger flops Gervinho and Marouane Chamakkh.