Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski has confirmed that he has been talking to other clubs, with his future yet undecided.
The German international has spent the better part of this season on loan at Serie A club Inter Milan after making a switch during the January transfer window, but he still has one year left to run on his contract in north London.
Despite never having been overly impressive under Arsene Wenger Podolski is one of the most experienced squad members he has, and the World Cup winner has now confirmed that he hasn’t made any definitive decisions regarding where it is he wants to be playing his football next year.
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“It’s not easy when you arrive in a new league. I think I am settled now,” Podolski reportedly told Sky Sport Italia.
“We are a big club and we want to qualify for Europe. We can win our remaining matches and play in the Europa League next year.
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“I always try to do more, I train hard and I always want to play but in the end the coach chooses the team. It is important to have goals, and ours is the Europa League.”
“I can not confirm anything now. I have a year of my contract with Arsenal left and I have talked to others, I’m open to everything.
“I could stay here, go back to London or play elsewhere. I will take the right decision for me and my family.”
Early struggles at Inter led many to believe that Podolski might be forced to return to Germany this summer, as no other European outfits capable of paying his wages would be ready to take a punt on his services.
Now though the 29-year-old, who turns 30 this year, looks to have settled at the San Siro and is an important part of Roberto Mancini’s squad. Of course that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that Inter would be prepared to stump up the money needed to purchase him on a permanent basis, meaning that he could well return to the Emirates Stadium before too long.
When he does he’ll be welcomed by the same competition for places that forced him out at the start of this year. The likes of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott have the creative positions in the final third all but sewn up and Olivier Giroud doesn’t look like surrendering the main striker role in Wenger’s setup.
With Arsenal sure to be ready to flex their financial muscle in the transfer market as well that doesn’t bode well for Podolski, who is already someway down the pecking order. Consequently pastures new could be sought once more, perhaps this time with the motive to find a new home that provides more security that a loan spell can provide.
Return to germany?
In that respect a move back to the Bundesliga shouldn’t be scoffed at, particularly not if a team like VfL Wolfsburg throw their hat into the mix.
Bayern Munich can boast players above Podolski’s ability level now and so it’s unlikely they’d be interested, likewise with Borussia Dortmund, but there are a host of other German clubs vying for European football who could make big statements domestically by signing a player of the forward's repute.
Arsenal fans, does Podolski have any sort of future in north London? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.
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