Arsenal

Cologne give green light as Podolski finally set for Gunners switch in summer

Lukas Podolski will join Arsenal in the summer after his transfer from Cologne was ‘rubber stamped’ by the Bundesliga side according to reports in Germany.

The German international was a target for Gunners boss Arsene Wenger during the January transfer window but ultimately opted out of a move to North London viewing it as a risk to his place in the national side ahead of Euro 2012.

Rumours have circulated for the last couple of months that the 26-year-old would be arriving at the Emirates Stadium at the end of the season with some sources indicating he’d even undergone an initial medial ahead of the move.

Cologne have supposedly agreed to part with striker for a £10 million fee that could rise depending on appearances, his performances and how many trophies he picks up.

However Wenger played down suggestions that Podolski was Arsenal bound but eventually acknowledged that he was keen to sign him in order to bolster his attacking options with Marouane Chamakh and Park Chu-Yong set to leave in the summer.

The Frenchman admitted that the club relies too heavily on Robin Van Persie to provide goals and believes the former Bayern Munich hit man would relieve the burden on his captain who has been linked with a move to several of Europe’s top clubs in recent weeks.

“Yes [we want Podolski].

“We want to add some offensive strikers, because many times people say we rely too much on Van Persie, which is true, but if we can find world-class players, we will [challenge for the title].”

It’s thought Cologne are worried about confirming his departure from the RheinEnergieStadion and upsetting an already agitated fan base that are irate at the clubs slide down to 16th in the table.

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