According to reports in the Mirror, Lukas Podolski has stormed out of the training ground and is currently AWOL, due to frustration with his lack of playing time at Arsenal.
The German forward has not had any playing time at all this season, and despite scoring some important goals whenever he has come on, Arsene Wenger has been reluctant to give him a start. There were a lot of rumours throughout the season about different clubs wanting to sign him, with Galatasaray being the frontrunner.
However, more close to the January transfer window, strong links emerged that Inter Milan were interested in signing Podolski. In fact, Inter’s manager Roberto Mancini confirmed that he was one of the players they were looking at.
He said, “Podolski is a good player. He is part of a list of players that we are following, so we will see what will come of it.”
However, when Arsene Wenger was asked if the rumours were true, he trashed them saying it was a joke.
Arsene said, “That is a joke. Inter Milan is not serious. It is nothing serious. They talk, there is only talks. I hope (he will be an Arsenal player at the end of January.
He’s a player of Arsenal Football Club and I want him to stay. Apart from that, what is to be professional is that as long as you are somewhere, you give your best to justify your wages and your love for the club.”
It seems as if Lukas Podolski is frustrated with the fact that neither is he getting any playing time and nor is he being allowed to leave. Many a times, the German has reiterated his desire to play more games and it looks like he has had enough.
Not only did he not train with the rest of the squad, he also has not travelled to Southampton for the game, citing a groin injury.
Along with Inter Milan, Galatasaray and Atletico Madrid are looking at how things develop. However, Arsenal are not prepared to let the German leave cheaply, having bought for around 10 million from Cologne. It is believed that Arsene would let the German star, who is on a 100,000 pounds a week contract, go for nothing less than 6 million.
It will be interesting to see how things develop, and if Podolski does leave, whether the manager will sign any replacement.