Sky Sports is reporting that Arsenal winger Lukas Podolski is nearing completion on a loan move to Inter Milan for the remainder of the 2014/15 season.
On Thursday night Gunners manager Arsene Wenger confirmed that the club had received from Inter an improved loan offer for Podolski. The deal is believed to contain an option to buy Podolski on a permanent deal for $7.79 million at the close of the season, an improvement on Inter’s initial approach last week which Wenger branded “a joke.”
“The first proposal was farcical; after, they came back a bit more serious,” Wenger said on Thursday. “We will see what happens. Inevitable? Not in the transfer market. It’s very difficult to say, but we’ll see.”
The German international flew to Milan on Friday and was greeted by a large group of Italian fans who threw Inter scarves around Podolski’s neck. He is fully expected to agree a deal to join the Serie A club.
A move to Milan would be a golden opportunity for the 29-year-old to turn around a career that has seen him struggle for first-team opportunities of late. Since arriving at the Emirates in the summer of 2012 on a $16.5 million deal from Cologne, Podolski has made just 39 starts in the Premier League.
He did, however, feature in 33 league contests during his first season in England, scoring 11 goals and handing out 10 assists. The following year he put up eight goals, four assists in 20 league appearances for the Gunners. But this season has seen the man with the thunderous left foot play in only seven league contests where he has yet to score.
Despite widely proclaiming his love for Arsenal, Podolski’s desire to move elsewhere has become quite clear of late. One of the good guys in world football, it will be difficult to foresee Goonahs wishing Podol anything but the best going forward.
While all indications are that Podolski’s move away from Arsenal was one perpetuated by the player himself, it does leave the club in a somewhat precarious situation. With Yaya Sanogo heading out on loan and Podolski doing the same, the Gunners are left up front with Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck, Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Joel Campbell. A seemingly deep group but for the fact that all but Sanchez have missed significant time for injury this season.
So is this another calculated risk by Wenger? Or, as rumors of Edinson Cavani swirl, is the manager simply carving out room for some new blood this January?