Okay, so this is happening some more, evidently. According to actual reputable (for now, at least) German media outlet Bild, Arsenal and Cologne have agreed on a €13m (£10.8m) fee for Lukas Podolski, with the transfer to occur in the summer (of course).
This comes on the heels of reports earlier this week that Podolski had been in contact with Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker regarding the possibility of a transfer, as well as earlier reports (also from Bild) that Arsenal and Podolski had already agreed to personal terms. This new report claims that Podolski will sign a four-year deal worth about €7m (£5.8m) a season upon joining Arsenal.
More after the jump.
I don't know about this one. This all seems to be moving a little bit fast to me, and it doesn't seem similar to the way Arsenal have done business in the past. That could mean one of two things: a) it's bollocks, or b) the club has learned its lessons from the summer and are moving more quickly in their transfer dealings this time around. I hope for b) and fear a).
My personal feelings on Lukas Podolski are mixed. I remember seeing him burst onto the world scene during the World Cup in 2006, scoring seemingly at will. I also have heard a lot about his makeup and character that makes me wary, particularly this Raphael Honigstein profile from December. On the other hand, this is exactly the kind of move Arsenal should be making to show ambition to Robin van Persie that might help convince him to re-sign at Arsenal. Bringing in world-class talent to surround him can only make staying in North London more attractive, and it doubles nicely as an infusion of talent that the team definitely needs. It's a move that can satisfy RvP and also help the team in other ways. But then, the unpredictability. See, I told you my feelings were mixed.
I lean toward liking the move, because I tend to think that adding good players is a great way for a team to get better (because OBVIOUSLY), and that any chemistry issues can be sorted out on the back-end. Additionally, Mertesacker (who has spent a fair amount of time with Podolski as national team teammates) seems on-board, and he has integrated with the Arsenal team well. One would think that if Podolski was an awful person to be around, Mertesacker would have told him that Thomas Vermaelen whips him with towels or something to keep him away. It is possible that Podolski's issues are no more, and I trust Arsene Wenger enough to feel that if he's willing to bring Podolski in, it's worth a shot. So go on! Wire the money! We await your arrival in N5, Poldi!
And if this ends up not happening, so help me God, Bild are dead to me. DEAD, I SAY.