Podolski: to join Arsenal

2012-05-01 00:00

COLOGNE — Germany forward Lukas Podolski is leaving Cologne to join Arsenal, the Bundesliga club said yesterday, confirming the worst-kept secret in European football. Podolski (26) will make the switch in the summer, one year before his contract was due to expire. Cologne said the two clubs have agreed not to release details of the deal.

“The transfer gives me the possibility to play at the international level in a top European club,” Podolski said in a statement on Cologne’s website. “It was not a decision against FC Cologne, but for a great opportunity in my career.” Podolski enjoys cult status in the city, having joined Cologne when he was 10.

The Polish-born forward made his Bundesliga debut at 18.

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