Over the last few months a vast array of strikers and attacking midfielders have been linked with Arsenal, now it is the turn of Lukas Podolski.
It was reported in the German media that Arsenal have sent a scouting team to watch the FC Koln (Cologne) striker, with a view to a £20m bid once the January window opens.
Luckily for Arsene Wenger, Van Persie has stayed relatively injury free this season, but in the past he has often picked up little problems that have kept him out for a few games at a time.
Arsenal cannot afford that to happen this season as the loss of such a player in the form he is currently in could send their season into free-fall.
So far this campaign Podolski has scored nine times in 12 appearances for both club and country. And at only 26, if Wenger did manage to get him he would be a very useful player for them, as he can operate on the left-side of a 4-3-3, in a 4-4-2 as a foil for Van Perise and as a loan striker if need be.
Wenger has been looking to bolster the squad following the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri in the summer. And as Van Persie only has 18 months left on his contract, Wenger does not want to be left with just the out of form Marouane Chamakh and Andrei Arshavin as his only attacking options.
Encouragingly for Arsenal, the Polish-born striker has stated that his future is ‘open’, saying, “I can jump to no conclusions about my future, I have always stressed that my future is open and said that I will have to wait and see about the state of the club’s [Koln] sporting situation. I am pleased that things are going so well for me, but I also know that football is a daily business.”
The 26-year-old clearly has a strong connection to his home team, he began his career there and returned after a short spell at Bayern Munich, but Koln are battling relegation and may be forced to sell their prized asset if the worst happens.
He told German newspaper, Bild: “Being at Koln does me good. It’s my club, it my town. If it’s up to me, I’ll still be here next season. 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.”
His club loyalty could rule out a January move as he would want to try and help Koln stay in the Bundesliga, but relegation would make a summer one almost a certainty, this could bring in other European and English clubs into the reckoning, such as Tottenham, who have also showed interest in the German international in the past.