Lukas Podolski inches closer to a move away from Arsenal after travelling to Italy to hold talks with Inter Milan.

The German international is expected to complete a loan move to the Serie A side. Podolski, 29, was pictured arriving at the Linate airport in Milan on Friday evening, where he was greeted by a large number of Inter fans. The forward was seen sporting an Inter scarf.

He said: “I can’t express in words my gratitude towards Arsenal fans for all they have done for me in my years in London.”

“Please know my heart always holds a place for you. I’ve loved every minute playing for Arsenal and I hope I have left my mark on the club and fans alike. Hopefully we shall meet again.”

The World Cup winner has failed to start a single Premier League game for Arsenal this season and missed the New Year’s Day defeat at Southampton due to a ‘tight groin’. Podolski was an unused substitute in Arsenal’s 2-1 win at West Ham on 28 December, with his last action for the North London club coming in the 4-1 victory over Newcastle on 13 December.

Lukas Podolski is expected to have a medical on Saturday and sign until the end of the season, with Inter believed to have an option to make the deal permanent in the summer.

Podolski signed for Arsenal from Cologne in 2012 for a transfer fee believed to be in the range of £11 million. The German never really became a regular in the Arsenal starting 11 as he made only 39 Premier League starts under Arsene Wenger. The forward has scored 31 goals for the Gunners in 82 games.

The Arsenal forward had previously spoken about leaving the club if his situation does not change at Arsenal. However, Wenger had denied that the German would leave the club in January. When Inter approached to sign the forward, Wenger described the Italian club’s interest as a joke but later suggested that an improved offer from the club will be considered.

“The first proposal was farcical,” Wenger said. “After, they came back a bit more serious. ‘Inevitable’ in a transfer is very difficult to say, but we’ll see what happens.”

Podolski has had a very illustrious career playing for FC Koln, Bayern Munich and Arsenal. He has won the Bundesliga title with Bayern Munich in 2008 and the FA Cup with Arsenal in 2014. The highlight of his career is winning the World Cup 2014 for Germany.