by Lewis Ambrose
According to London Evening Standard Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski has flown out to Turkey to complete a move to Galatasaray.
The German international clearly isn’t wanted in London, and seems eager to leave.
Despite saying that he would stay and fight for his place, Podolski wants to be playing regular football – which is understandable – but he won’t get it at Arsenal.
Podolski spent the first half of last season at the club but after the signings of Alexis Sánchez and Danny Welbeck he found himself frustrated, playing just 107 minutes spread across seven Premier League appearances. This came while Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott spent most of the first half of the season injured.
The second half saw more regular football during a loan spell with Internazionale, but the German was disappointing and managed just one goal in 941 minutes of football.
It is clear by now that a move is best for everyone involved. Podolski has one year remaining on his contract at Arsenal but is on a big wage thought to be just shy of £100,000 a week.
He clearly hasn’t been value for money and Arsenal would love to strike his salary from the bill – but nobody is willing to pay that much.
Galatasaray will reportedly offer the striker £50,000 a week for his services, and a deal would be helped by the rate of tax in Turkey, which is 15% – far less than the 45% tax rate on his wages while he is in England.
With Arsenal players starting pre-season again next week, it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see a Podolski deal rushed through before then.
If he really is in Turkey already, a deal could be close.