Lukas Podolski surprised to leave Arsenal for Galatasaray

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Lukas Podolski has admitted that he fully expected to return to Arsenal this summer but was quickly seduced by an offer to join Galatasaray.

The Germany international had moved to the periphery of Arsene Wenger's squad before sealing a six-month loan deal to Inter Milan in January.

Inter manager Roberto Mancini was left unimpressed with Podolski's contribution and declined the chance to make the temporary arrangement permanent.


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Earning around £100,000-a-week at the Emirates, fans and pundits alike expected Arsenal to struggle to get the striker off their books.

Despite his lack of first-team football at Arsenal, Podolski admits that he, too, expected to be still plying his trade in north London. That was until Turkish side Galatasaray came in with an adequate offer and rapidly closed the deal.

Out of the blue

“I planned to be joining Arsenal on July 10, but during those days everything went very quickly,” he told Spanish newspaper AS.

“[There was] a movement from the club and then we agreed. I received offers from many clubs, but Galatasaray’s proposal seduced me from the first moment.

“The president and the coach handed me their trust during negotiations. Istanbul is a beautiful city; my family is very happy here.

“Frankly, the Turkish league is not at the same level as the Premier [League], but Galatasaray is always present in the Champions League and has such important players like [Wesley] Sneijder.

“I received several very important offers but chose to go to Galatasaray because it is a very respectable club around the world.

“I am very happy because this has given me a great responsibility."

A bad deal for Arsenal

Arsenal recouped just £1.8million from the deal but were left relieved after Galatasaray matched the 30-year-old's wages, freeing them from making any kind of parachute payment.

That may explain why they chose to accept a minimal transfer fee when several other offers were on the table.

Having paid £11m to sign him from Cologne in 2011, Podolski will go down as something of a failure for Wenger.

He left Arsenal with 31 goals to his name but, despite appearing popular with fans on social media, failed to convince on numerous occasions.

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