Koln director denies move for outcast Arsenal star

Lukas Podolski Germany

FC Koln have ruled out a January move for Arsenal’s Lukas Podolski.

Podolski started his career with Koln, scoring 46 goals in 81 appearances in a three-year spell that ended in 2006.

A transfer to Bayern Munich failed to bring similar rewards, and the now-29-year-old returned to Koln in 2009, scoring a less prolific 33 goals in 88 games before completing a switch to Premier League side Arsenal in the summer of 2012.

An impressive first season brought a return of 11 goals in 33 games, although his importance to Arsene Wenger’s starting XI has diminished in the following two seasons. He made just 20 league appearances last term, and he has yet to make a single start for the Gunners in their faltering current campaign - with just four substitute appearances to his name.

A move away from the Emirates has been touted for the upcoming transfer window, with a host of clubs in Germany - the nation for whom he holds 121 international caps - said to be interested in taking his services back to the Bundesliga.

However, Schalke 04 have pulled themselves out of any deal for the forward - citing insufficient funds - and now Koln have followed suit, with managing director Jorg Schmadtke telling German media outlet Bild that Podolski will not be returning to the RheinEnergieStadion in the coming future.

Quoted by the Standard, Schmadtke said: “We do not have €5m and we can’t pay the salary for a player like Podolski.

“Podolski needs a team where he can play to its strengths and bring them to full advantage.

“We cannot currently offer that.

“I told him our point of view and I think Lukas sees it the same way.”

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