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Lokomotiv plot £20m Podolski bid

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Arsenal's attempts to land Cologne striker Lukas Podolski look to have been scuppered as Lokomotiv Moscow plan to blow them out of the water with a £20million bid reports the London Metro.

The 26-year-old German international has been heavily linked with a move away from the Bundesliga this month, until 'Poldi' stated his intention to consider his future in the summer.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is a long-term admirer of Podolski's, and wanted to bring him to the Emirates Stadium in January, as he bids to strengthen Arsenal's forward department.

After completing a short-term deal to re-sign club legend Thierry Henry, it is understood that Wenger was prepared to wait until the end of the season before renewing his interest in Podolski.

However, after a series of emails from Lokomotiv officials were leaked to the Russian media, it has emerged that the Moscow-based club will make a lucrative offer to sign the in-demand forward, 18 months after having a modest bid of £8million turned down.

With 14 goals in 16 games during the first half of the 2011-12 campaign, Podolski's chances of making Germany's Euro 2012 squad this summer are looking good, and the striker is determined not to risk his chances of inclusion by moving mid-season.

It now seems likely a summer auction will ensue, and with Lokomotiv able to offer more funds and a huge wage package, Arsenal are realistic enough to know they will struggle to compete for Podolski's signature.

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