- Premier League
Arsenal alerted as Podolski plans Cologne exit
Cologne striker Lukas Podolski has indicated he will quit the club at the end of the season after a string of broken promises - and he plans to leave the Bundesliga.
The news will be of interest to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who is a known admirer of Podolski and was linked with making a bid in the January window.
Podolski, 26, will move into the final year of his contract this summer, meaning any interested club should be able to negotiate a cut-price deal. He started his career with Cologne before moving to Bayern Munich, but he failed to find top form and returned to Cologne three years ago. He has 43 goals in 95 caps for Germany.
"I was told that a team would be built around me so that we could establish ourselves first in the top eight and then in the top six,'' he told Bild am Sonntag. "I had lots of promises made to me before my move here and I wanted to play my part in achieving these things together.
"[Former Cologne coach] Christoph Daum once said that lots of promises are made, but few are maintained here and I think my situation confirms that. When you see what perspectives were shown to me and what has actually happened in the end, it is disappointing.
"Each year we try to make progress, we take a new run-up, but then when you end up embroiled in a relegation battle again then it is disappointing. I had hoped for a lot more because there is far more potential here - the stadium and the fans are unique. But of the people with whom I discussed this concept, very few are still at the club. There is no continuity.
"If I were to move, then the way things stand at the moment, I would move abroad. I speak German, Polish, English and Cologne dialect - I think you can get anywhere with that combination. I am always receiving enquiries and if they had been really attractive, I wouldn't be here now. But seriously, I will make up my mind no sooner than the summer.''