Lukas Podolski’s transfer to Inter Milan moved closer on Saturday when the Germany forward met Coach Roberto Mancini at the Serie A side’s training ground and said his goodbyes to Arsenal.
“The World Cup winner was at the Centro Sportivo Angelo Moratti today to get to know his new training ground and meet the Nerazzurri coach,” an Inter statement said as media reported that a medical had been passed and he would soon sign.
The 29-year-old has become a bit-part player at Arsenal despite injuries to Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott, with manager Arsene Wenger appearing to better trust the speed and skills of younger players such as Danny Welbeck and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Podolski, who joined the Londoners from Cologne in 2012, has still managed 31 goals in 82 appearances in all competitions and his shoot-on-sight policy seems to appeal to Inter, 11th in Serie A and in need of more firepower.
“New year, new beginnings. #ForzaInter #Mancini,” Podolski wrote on his Instagram social media page having earlier wished Arsenal fans the best with Wenger’s inconsistent side sixth in the Premier League.
“I can’t express in words my gratitude towards Arsenal fans for all they have done for me in my years in London. Please know my heart always holds a place for you.
“I’ve loved every minute playing for Arsenal and I hope I have left my mark on the club and fans alike. Hopefully we shall meet again.”
Wenger said on Thursday the club had received an increased offer from Inter for Podolski who has more than 100 caps for world champions Germany.
“The first proposal was farcical,” said Wenger. “After, when they come back a bit more seriously, then you will see what happens now.”