FC Cologne have confirmed that Lucas Podolski will join Arsenal in the summer. The German club haven’t revealed the transfer fee for the 26 year old but it’s believed to be in the region of 12-million euro. Podolski has scored 43 international goals in 95 caps for Germany.
Podolski told www.fc-koeln.de: “The move to Arsenal provides a great opportunity for me to gain experience in international competitions at a top European club.”
Podolski, who started his career at Cologne before rejoining them in 2009 after an unhappy three-year spell at Bayern Munich, added on the club’s official website: “I have made this decision not against Cologne but for this great opportunity and the good of my own individual development.
“This was not an easy decision for me at all, as Cologne, our fans and the city are something special for me. I will always carry Cologne in my heart. We need to pool our strengths now and have to be fully focused on our survival in the Bundesliga.”
The Poland-born forward, who had one year left on his contract with the Bundesliga strugglers, has scored 18 league goals for a side battling relegation so far this term, his best ever top-flight return.
Podolski, who will link up with international team-mate Per Mertesacker in north London, played for Germany at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups and is set to be part of their squad at Euro 2012. He has a superb goalscoring record at international level with 43 goals in his 95 appearances – joint sixth in their all-time list – despite often playing in a left-sided role. Things did not go so well at Bayern, though, as he managed just 15 league goals in his three seasons in Bavaria before going back to Cologne for a reported 10 million euros in an innovatively-funded transfer. Cologne set up a page on their website where fans could buy pixels in an image of Podolski with the money going toward the cost of the fee. Before heading to Arsenal, Podolski will look to save Cologne from the drop. The club are third bottom of the table with one game to go and are likely to face a relegation play-off.