Arsenal Close In On £10.9m Transfer Target

Cologne's Lukas Podolski

Lukas Podolski (L) may not get the chance to play with Robin van Persie

Germany international striker Lukas Podolski is reported to be on the verge of signing for Arsenal in a move that would cost the Gunners approximately £10.9m.
The 26-year old Podolski has been outspoken about his displeasure at current club FC Cologne, who are only three points above the relegation zone in the Bundesliga and have allegedly failed to deliver on their promises of building a competitive squad.
While the player has been linked with a move to the Emirates for several months now, neither of the two clubs engaged in any negotiations until recently, when Cologne began to consider selling the man who will otherwise walk away as a free agent next year.
Further complicating any progress in the transfer talks were Podolski’s high wage demands, reported to be around £100,000 a week, which is well over the Gunners’ usual threshold.
But given that the wage structure at Arsenal is poised to change as the club aims to re-sign skipper Robin van Persie – now officially a Manchester City target – it appears that a deal for Podolski is about to be agreed after all.
“The deal is very close. It would be premature to say that it has been agreed, but discussions are ongoing and it won’t be long now,” a source informed ESPNSoccernet.
The recent progress in transfer talks was confirmed by Podolski’s compatriot Per Mertesacker, who moved to Arsenal in a deadline-day signing last summer.
The former Werder Bremen skipper told Sky: “I haven’t been told that (a deal is done), and Lukas hasn’t called me. I have written to him, though, to tell him how well he can do here and what a great club it is. I think it can happen.
“He has shown a lot of interest in recent weeks and has sent me a text message. As you can imagine, I’ve told him positive things.”
Having fought bravely to beat AC Milan 3-0 and almost overturn a four-goal deficit from the first leg of their Champions League clash with the Italian champions, Arsenal are in confident mood as they prepare for Monday evening’s highly anticipated match at home to Newcastle United.



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