Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski is set to join Inter Milan when the transfer window re-opens in January after falling down the pecking order at the Emirates Stadium.
The Germany international has played just 25 minutes of Premier League football this season and should complete a move to the Italian club in the New Year, according to the Daily Star.
Podolski hints at exit
Podolski hinted that he was poised to leave the Emirates Stadium during an interview with German television station RTL conducted earlier this week.
“I am a full-blooded player, a street player and I love competition,” the 29-year-old commented. “If I don’t have this competition every weekend then a change must occur.”
When quizzed over whether or not he would see out his contract with the Gunners, which expires in June 2016, the World Cup winner responded: “We will have to see. But it is certainly something one has to think about.
“I have been with Germany a long time and have gone through phases where I did not play a lot at club level but was convincing with the national team. That is no problem.”
Wenger responds in press conference
During Friday morning’s press conference, Wenger was asked what he thought about Podolski’s comments, to which he replied: "There is no transfer market at the moment. You are either on board or not on board."
Podolski arrived at Arsenal from Cologne in 2012 for an undisclosed fee and has so far scored 28 goals in 73 appearances for the north London outfit.
He netted 16 goals in all competitions in his debut campaign, and followed that up by scoring 12 goals last term.
Podolski falls down pecking order
However, the arrival of Danny Welbeck from Manchester United and Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona means Podolski is unlikely to play any meaningful role in the Arsenal first team this season.
He has been an unused substitute in four of Arsenal’s last eight matches and failed to get on the pitch during Wednesday night’s 4-1 win over Galatasaray in the Champions League group stages.
Podolski has often been deployed by Wenger as an attacking left winger, but Arsenal have plenty of options for that position including Sanchez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mesut Ozil, who has been moved to a more central role in recent weeks following a dreadful spell out on the wing.
Inter Milan move may appeal
Podolski has never played in Serie A before, so a move to Inter - one of Italian football’s most famous clubs - may appeal to the Poland-born forward.
Walter Mazzarri’s side are currently fifth in the Serie A table after picking up eight points from their first five matches, but may require strengthening to secure a top-three finish.
Podolski, it seems, is the man Mazzarri has identified to help to bring Champions League football back to the San Siro.
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