Arsenal flop Lukas Podolski is set to make a surprise return to Arsene Wenger’s fold this summer, as Inter Milan aren’t keen on turning his loan-spell into a permanent move.
That’s according to the Daily Express, who cite Italian sources when they claim that Roberto Mancini is focused on an alternative target in Paris Saint-Germain’s Ezequiel Lavezzi, and so has little use for Podolski.
The German international moved to the San Siro only last month, having fallen down the pecking order in north London and become desperate to get more on-pitch opportunities. However he’s found little solace in Serie A, with Bayern Munich’s Xherdan Shaqiri - who is also a new addition to the club - and hot-shot Mauro Icardi providing stern competition for a first-team place.
In fact Podolski has been an unused substitute in both of Inter’s last two matches, and it could transpire that he finds it just as difficult to force his way into the manager’s plans there as he did at Arsenal.
Lavezzi over Podolski
The rumour in question states that Mancini is instead looking to France to find the man he sees capable of helping restore Inter’s former glory. PSG’s Lavezzi has been reportedly unsettled for some time, and if Fredy Guarin is wafted under Laurent Blanc’s nose as part of the deal, Mancini is of the opinion that the Frenchman will do business.
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That outcome would all but confirm Podolski’s return to Arsenal, and it makes sense to assume he’d be offered little reprieve. His criticisms of Wenger since leaving north London - albeit made in frustration - were likely offered with the assumption that the Gunners would cease to be his club from the end of the season onwards. It’s now looking like he’ll be with them until he can find someone else to take him on.
No hope at Arsenal
Currently Alexis Sanchez is dominating headlines for his classy performances for Wenger, and with Theo Walcott’s return from injury having gone smoothly and Mesut Ozil looking somewhat back to his best, the wide areas are all covered.
Couple that with the fact that Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud are both fighting for the place in the centre of the front-line, and Podolski’s position with Arsenal looks untenable indeed.
Perhaps a move back to the Bundesliga is best, with the player himself having admitted in the past to having plans of an eventual Cologne return. Though Bayern Munich's iron grip on the division would virtually rule out any hope of securing major domestic silverware, it could be the right place for him to rebuild his reputation before age begins to take a toll on his abilities.