Report: Lukas Podolski agrees to terms with struggling Inter


Arsenal fan-favorite, selfie king, and bench victim Lukas Podolski has agreed to personal terms with Serie A side Inter Milan, according to a report in Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport.

Podolski has long held true to his public displays of affection for his current club, citing a love for the fans and an appreciation for his close personal friends as teammates.

However, Podolski has played just 106 minutes this Premier League season, despite the fact that first-choice striker Olivier Giroud went down with a long-term injury. The German international has yet to start a game this season, coming off the bench in every appearance and playing more than 13 minutes just twice this season. He has yet to score as well, even finding himself behind Yaya Sanogo on the depth chart.

Podolski, who moved to Arsenal in 2012 from FC Cologne, seems to have at the least a 6-month loan in place on his way to Inter. The details that have yet to be agreed upon include the option to buy at the end of the loan. The Corriere report says if Inter’s buy clause at the end of the loan is mandatory, they are willing to pay around $7 million, while they will extend that up to around $10 million if the option to buy is just that, optional.

It will be tough to see Podolski leave the Premier League if the reports are true, since his electric playing style and jovial personality are an enjoyable part of Arsenal’s team makeup, but it’s completely understandable why he would decide to depart. What’s more confusing is why he hasn’t seen the pitch more often under Wenger. Yaya Sanogo has talent but it clearly still raw, and while Podolski isn’t a natural target man, but he seems to be a solid option in Giroud’s absence.

With Danny Welbeck – a summer purchase – in the fold, Podolski still offers a ton of pace and tactical ability on the wing, but with Arsenal’s injury troubles plaguing the central midfield and not the wingers, the 29-year-old World Cup champion still found himself clogged behind the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, and even young Serge Gnabry.

Inter is struggling mightily in Serie A, and with new boss Roberto Mancini looking for top-level talent to revive the club mired in 11th position, he’s singled out a serious lack of wide players as a serious club weakness.  Podolski would fit right in on the left wing, where Mancini last played natural left-back Dodo in their most recent 2-2 draw with Lazio this past weekend.

The Italian club has plenty of big-name talent, including goalkeeper Samir Handanovic and in-form striker Mauro Icardi, but a struggling defense (including the now-benched Nemanja Vidic, who seems to be into the declination stages of his career), and an inconsistent strike force has been their downfall. While Inter has only been held scoreless twice this season, they also managed just five goals in a crucial five-match stretch against some of Italy’s stronger sides that resulted in the dismissal of Walter Mazzari and also marked a rocky start for Mancini.

Podolski’s play will no doubt be missed, but so too will his animated friendships with his Arsenal teammates, most notably Mesut Ozil, Wojciech Szczesny, Per Mertesacker, and Olivier Giroud, who often found themselves sprinkled around Podolski’s frequent social media use.

Going by what is lacking from the report, the two clubs have yet to agree on any kind of a fee.