Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski is on the verge of a switch to Inter Milan, according to various reports emanating from Italy.
The German international has made 13 appearances for the Gunners in all competitions this season – but only two of those have been starts. Podolski has yet to feature in manager Arsene Wenger’s starting eleven during the club’s 17 league matches.
The 29-year-old has seen his playing time steadily decrease since his debut season with Arsenal in 2012. After initially impressing Gunners supporters by scoring 16 goals and notching 11 assists during the 2012-13 campaign, Podolski has struggled to find the back of the net and has move down the pecking order of Arsene Wenger’s striker options.
Various reports in Italy have stated that an agreement is already in place between Arsenal and Internazionale. The Italian publication Corriere dello Sport is reporting that a deal is in place which will see Podolski move to Milan on-loan for the remainder of the season.
What has yet to be determined is whether Inter will be obligated to buy the striker at the conclusion of the season, or if the Serie A side will hold an option to send the player back to the Gunners.
Podolski is under contract with Arsenal until June 2016.
The German made his feelings public in November regarding his lack of playing time in North London. At that time he told the German publication Kicker he wasn’t happy sitting the bench and wanted clarification of his position within Arsene Wenger’s squad.
“I like London, I like the club. But I don’t like the situation,” Podolski told Kicker in November.
“I am not a clown who will just sit out his contract in the stands. I need to seek talks with Arsene Wenger. I want a fair chance. Just let me play. And when I have played 10 games and have not convinced [Wenger], I’ll gladly join the end of the queue again.”
This summer, a number of teams showed an interest in signing the former Bayern Munich and 1. FC Köln (Cologne) striker.
Juventus, Liverpool, Galatasaray and Fenerbache all inquired about Podolski’s availability; but Arsenal would not entertain the idea of the German’s departure.
Arsene Wenger has previously stated that the German international will not be available to move in January either, but – if the reports from Italy are true – it appears the manager has given the green-light to allow the player to get the playing time he desires in Italy.
Inter had also been rumored to be monitoring Atletico Madrid midfielder Alessio Cerci, who reportedly favored a move to Internazionale. But it appears Cerci will be joining rivals AC Milan after the Rossoneri reached an agreement to send on-loan striker Fernando Torres to Atletico Madrid in a swap-deal for the Italian international.
Torres moved to Milan on a two-year loan from Chelsea this summer, but it is understood that the 30-year-old striker will join the Spanish champions after reaching an agreement that satisfies all parties involved.
Speculation is Cerci is part of a swap-deal which sees Torres move back to his boyhood club on-loan, while 27-year-old Italian will join the Rossoneri on-loan for the remainder of the season.
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