Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Lukas Podolski will not be allowed to leave Arsenal this summer following an injury to Olivier Giroud.
Widespread reports suggested that Podolski was in talks with officials from Juventus, Wolfsburg and Galatasaray with regards to either a loan or a permanent transfer. Having failed to make his way into Wenger's first team plans, it was believed the boss was ready to cash in on the World Cup winner.
Speculation regarding Podolski's future increased after he was left out of Arsenal's squad for the 2-2 draw against Everton at the weekend. Earning £100,000-a-week in wages, Wenger seemed keen to get the German forward off the books before the transfer window closed.
However, following an injury to Giroud, Wenger has confirmed that Podolski will return to the Arsenal squad for tomorrow's Champions League qualifier against Besiktas and that he will be staying in north London this season.
He told reporters: "Podolski is in the squad tomorrow and will stay with us."
Although ending speculation regarding Podolski's future, it threw fuel on the fire that Giroud is facing a long spell on the side lines.
Reports in France suggested that the striker could be out for around three months after a scan revealed he had sustained a broken foot in the dying moments against Everton. Wenger said Giroud is yet to see a specialist but sounded far from optimistic.
Wenger continued: "Giroud is out for tomorrow. After that, we don't know how long he will be out for.
"He will see a specialist tomorrow and determine how long he will be out."
Chance for Podolski
If Giroud is ruled out for three months, it will give Podolski the opportunity he has been craving since he moved to the Emirates Stadium in 2012. The 29-year-old has always insisted that he prefers a central role, but Giroud's presence has restricted him to appearances on the left wing.
When given a chance Podolski has impressed and has chipped in 28 goals in 53 starts for the Gunners. Having seen Alexis Sanchez struggle with the central role against Everton, Wenger will be hoping Podolski can compensate for Giroud's loss.
However, Arsenal are still being linked with late moves for potential replacements. It appears Loic Remy is now back on the agenda while Manchester United's Danny Welbeck and even PSG's Edinson Cavani are being considered.
A move for Cavani would take as much as £50 million to secure while it is believed any more money spent in the current window is reliant on Arsenal qualifying for the Champions League.