Monday 19 February 2018

Lukas Podolski in 'provisional agreement' over Arsenal move

Transfer talk: Lukas Podolski (centre) could be available for £16m
Transfer talk: Lukas Podolski (centre) could be available for £16m

Jeremy Wilson

Lukas Podolski, the Cologne striker, is willing to become Arsenal’s first major signing of the summer, according to sources in Germany.

Podolski was also targeted by Arsenal during the January transfer window but, with his contract expiring next year, the expectation is that he will be available at the end of the season for about £16 million.

Ne fee has been agreed yet between Arsenal and Cologne, but it is understood that Podolski is keen on the option of playing in the Premier League.

Bild, the influential German newspaper, reported yesterday that a provisional agreement had even been reached between Arsenal and Podolski.

It is unlikely, though, that any definitive agreement would be concluded with Cologne or Podolski until the end of the season when it will be clear whether Arsenal are in the Champions League next season.

Podolski has been in outstanding form this season in the Bundesliga, scoring 15 goals and providing four assists in 19 appearances. His versatility as either an out-and-out striker, or playing to the left of the main forward as he did during the World Cup, would certainly provide fresh options to Arsenal and crucial back-up to Robin van Persie.

Arsenal have the funds to add to their squad this summer, although they do also face crucial - and potentially costly - contract negotiations with their captain, Robin van Persie.

Meanwhile, Nicklas Bendtner would consider following former Arsenal team-mate Andrei Arshavin to Russia when his contract runs out at the end of the season.

"There are a lot of very strong players going to Russia, players who previously wouldn’t have done so," Bendtner said. "They play great football there."

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