Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has rubbished speculation that Lukas Podolski could be sold in the January window, insisting that the German forward won't be leaving north London.
Podolski has been left out in the cold this season following the arrival of Alexis Sanchez over the summer, and is yet to start a single Premier League game this season. Indeed the only time that he's been named as a starter this season was during the Gunners' 2-1 defeat against Southampton in the Capital One Cup.
That has prompted speculation that he could on his way out of the Emirates Stadium in the January transfer window, with a return to Germany mooted. However Wenger says that won't be the case, and insists there's a simple explanation as to why he's being left out.
"It is not established at all that he will leave at Christmas. It is me who sets the price and [the reported deal] doesn’t correspond at all to his price," the Arsenal boss told BeIn Sports. "He is not for sale and there is no offer.
“Podolski plays a position where there is a big competition. He came very late from his holidays [after the World Cup in the summer], so he started after his team-mates and was not good physically.”
Santi Cazorla also provides competition for Podolski on the left flank, while Wenger has plenty of options through the middle too which seemingly spells more trouble for the former Bayern Munich man.
The former Cologne forward is likely to be unimpressed if he isn't handed more starts before long, having recently admitted that he is unhappy with his current situation at Arsenal and hinted he could force an exit if it doesn't change.
"I am not happy with the situation at the moment. It would be wrong to suggest that I am,” said the Arsenal forward. “I still have fun playing football but when the competitive element of it is taken away from me, the one I enjoy so much, then I am not happy. I have to think about will happen this winter and will look to hold talks with the club.”
Arsenal take on Manchester United when the Premier League resumes after the international break.