• Premier League

Wenger tight-lipped on Podolski deal

ESPN staff
March 9, 2012

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger remained coy on Friday when questioned on reports that a deal has been struck to bring Germany international Lukas Podolski to the club.

Several media sources have claimed over the past couple of days that the Cologne striker, whose contract expires in 2013, will move to London in a £10.9 million deal this summer.

And Gunners defender Per Mertesacker claims that Podolski, his international team-mate, has contacted him regarding the possibility of a transfer to Arsenal.

But Wenger said: "I don't have a lot to say about Podolski. If we sign a player we will inform you. There is still no agreement. The distance to an agreement is not always linked to the signing. Many times when you are very close, you are quickly very far away again. But Podolski is a good player - I won't deny that."

Podolski has expressed frustration with life at Cologne, who are currently 14th in the Bundesliga - and the club are thought to be willing to get his wages, believed to be in excess of £100,000-a-week, off the bill.

The 26-year-old, who had three years at Bayern Munich before returning to his hometown club in 2009, has scored 43 times in 95 games for Germany.

Wenger says that should Podolski arrive, it would have no bearing on the future of skipper Robin van Persie - another whose contract runs out in summer 2013.

Cologne coach Stale Solbakken added: "At the moment Lukas is a Cologne player, nothing else has been signed."

Meanwhile, Wenger has confirmed that Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey should both be OK to feature against Newcastle at the Emirates on Monday.

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