Lukas Podolski has confirmed that he might be playing his football at Arsenal next season, but only if Arsene Wenger can offer him regular game-time.
The Germany international struggled to make much of an impression during his loan spell at Inter Milan last term, a point made obvious by the fact that Roberto Mancini has shown little or no interest in making the deal permanent.
Now, with the forward to return to north London in time for Arsenal’s pre-season as they prepare for the 2015/16 campaign, he has himself admitted that he remains unsure for whom he will be playing next term.
On the one hand he would like to remain loyal to the Gunners, but at the same time he doesn’t want to be left to rot on the bench.
"I can't make any claims. I am under contract at Arsenal," the 30-year-old said, according to the Daily Mirror.
"I have not talked to Arsenal yet, but if I return I want to play. I won't sit on the bench or in the stands."
Just what Wenger will decide to do with him is anyone’s guess at the moment, though it looks highly likely that the Frenchman will attempt to flog Podolski rather than utilise him in his first-team squad.
The former Bayern Munich man might be after promises of game-time and first-team opportunities but with Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil all having looked good last year that doesn’t appear feasible.
That’s without taking into account the likes of Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck, both of whom will be bidding for a place in the starting XI regardless of whether or not Wenger opts to strengthen by bringing in even more attacking talent during the summer transfer window.
As a consequence of the competition Podolski, who only managed one Serie A goal last term in 18 appearances, could be on the look out for a new club. The most logical option would present itself in the form of a return to his home nation, where there’s no doubt a string of Bundesliga sides ready to gamble on the 30-year-old’s services.
No Arsenal future?
One scenario that appears almost unthinkable at the moment is that Podolski’s long-term future is with Arsenal. Currently possessive of a contract set to expire in one years time the veteran will have to do plenty before Wenger considers offering him a new deal.
That said he’s clearly not ready to give up just yet, so it’s a case of watch this space for updates.
Arsenal fans, do you think there’s any reason Podolski should be kept on past this summer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.