Football: Podolski to join Arsenal: report

Germany forward Lukas Podolski is to quit Cologne at the end of the season to join Arsenal for 13 million euros, according to reports.

The German club, currently 14th in the Bundesliga, made no confirmation of the claims but daily newspaper Bild said Podolski had accepted terms with the English Premier League side.

Cologne-based newspaper Express claim the only thing missing is Podolski's signature on the Arsenal contract.

Both Cologne's press officer and Podolski's agent, Kon Schramm, refused to comment on the reports when approached by German agency SID, an AFP subsidiary.

Bild claim Podolski has agreed terms on a four-year deal that will see him earn an annual salary of around seven million euros ($9.2 million), while British tabloid the Daily Mail ran the headline "Podolski is a Gunner".

The only comment Podolski has given on the matter is to say: "I will give everything I have to the very end" after Cologne's 1-1 draw with Hoffenheim last Saturday.

The 26-year-old was laying low Thursday and missed training with a gastrointestinal infection, but the club hope to have him available for Saturday's German league match against Hertha Berlin.

The Gunners' injured centre-back Per Mertesacker told German Sky Sports News on Wednesday that Podolski has been getting the low-down on life at the Premier League side through an exchange of text messages with him.

"He has been very interested in the last few weeks and sent me a text message or two," Mertesacker said.

"I just responded to him positively, we have a good club here and everyone here has a positive opinion of 'Poldi'."

Podolski's contract with Bundesliga strugglers Cologne does not expire until June 2013.

He has made 95 appearances for Germany, is a veteran of two World Cups and was part of the team which reached the Euro 2008 final when the Germans lost to Spain.

The attacker was transferred in 2009 from Bayern Munich to Cologne, where he played at the start of his career.

Bild previously said that Cologne wanted 18 million euros for Podolski, who has scored 16 goals in 20 German league games this season -- more than half of his team's total tally of 31.

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