North London is getting ready for another battle between fierce rivals Arsenal and Tottenham – this time it’s off the pitch as the two are set to go head-to-head in a bidding war for £20m rated Cologne forward, Lukas Podolski.
The German international has been in impressive form this season notching 10 goals from 13 appearances for both club and country, prompting Europe’s top clubs to sit up and take note once again. Podolski’s current contract expires in 2013 but the Bundesliga outfit are hoping to warn off prospective buyers by offering the 26 year-old a new long-term deal. Cologne’s General Manager, Volke Finke remains confident Podolski will commit his future to the club and he told German tabloid Bild, “Some time around Christmas we will be going to meet to try and thrash out the contract extension of Lukas Podolski.”
Arsene Wenger has been repeatedly linked with the forward, on and off, for the past 2 years and with contract concerns over star striker Robin van Persie, the Arsenal boss may look to act in January. However, Tottenham have now joined their North London rivals in the race to sign the German but reports suggest that the Lillywhites may end up falling short as they are unable to make a bid until the summer, according to CaughtOffside. Harry Redknapp is keen to add another striker, as current on-loan Manchester City striker, Emmanuel Adebayor, is not guaranteed to sign unless he takes a cut in his astronomical wages.
It would take a very lucrative offer to prise the left-sided forward away from his beloved hometown club but in April this year he told Bild, “Where I’d go if I opted to leave after all? Without wanting to sound arrogant, I could succeed at a big European club, in England or Spain.”
Germany Coach, Joachim Loew has also backed Podolski’s credentials when he was quoted as saying, “I do think that Lukas’ level is of a top European club.” With Cologne currently sitting 11th in the Bundesliga and Podolski performing at the top of his game, a move to one of Europe’s finest is evermore likely.
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