Lukas Podolski is ready and willing to return to Arsenal after confirming Inter Milan have no option to make his current loan deal permanent.
The Germany international left north London in the January transfer window after falling out of favour under Arsene Wenger. Podolski has since failed to impress with the Serie A outfit with Roberto Mancini recently criticising him for a lack of effort.
It seems inevitable that he will fail to earn a permanent move but his future hangs in the balance. There is some uncertainty as to whether Wenger would welcome him back into his Arsenal squad.
However, Podolski has confirmed he would be happy to return to the Gunners where his £100,000-a-week contract runs until 2016.
"I still have a year left on my contract and always got along really well with the guys and the fans"
Return to Arsenal
According to ESPN, he said: "The Arsenal chapter has by no means been closed."
"I still have a year left on my contract and always got along really well with the guys and the fans.
"But because I was not allowed to play a lot in my last half year, I needed to try something else. When I retire at one point, I can say that I have played in three top leagues: The Bundesliga, the Premier League and Serie A."
A short stay
Unfortunately for Podolski, Arsenal have barely noticed his absence since he departed. Theo Walcott, who plays in a similar wide position, is himself struggling for game time and would almost certainly place higher up the order than the German.
As a result, any return to Arsenal is likely to be short-lived. There would be no surprise if he was transfer listed by Wenger and allowed to leave for a minimal amount. The 29-year-old could still command a decent transfer fee, but his big wages may prove a stumbling block when trying to shift him.
Cologne are likely to put in a bid to sign him – Podolski came through the youth system there and has had two spells with the club's first team. He also returns there on every opportunity to recharge his allegiance.
However, the Bundesliga club will struggle to match the wages he currently earns at Arsenal. It promises to be a complicated deal, but one that Wenger will almost certainly be keen to complete early.
Do you think Lukas Podolski has a future at Arsenal or is there no point in him coming back? Give us your thoughts in the comments box below!