6 Jan 2015

Podolski joins Inter Milan on loan

7:56 am on 6 January 2015

The Italian football club Inter Milan has confirmed that German World Cup winner Lukas Podolski has joined them on loan from English Premier League side Arsenal.

German forward Lukas Podolski scores for Arsenal.

German forward Lukas Podolski scores for Arsenal. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Italian Serie A outfit said the 29-year-old had taken part in training this morning.

Arsenal had revealed the completed deal earlier in the day when wishing Podolski well on Twitter.

The former Bayern Munich player will be on the bench for Wednesday's high-profile trip to champions Juventus, Inter coach Roberto Mancini said.

"I've prepared for this match without Podolski. Once the transfer is rubber stamped, I'll put him on the bench, that's certain. He's an excellent player, he'll help us a lot," said Mancini in his pre-match press conference.

A week ago, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had described Inter's initial approach as "a joke", and claimed the Italians were "not serious" - Italian sides have a history of making audacious, derisory offers to try to sign players on the cheap.

Podolski, who joined Arsenal from Cologne in 2012 - the club he started out at before a three-year hiatus with Bayern from 2006 to 2009 - had not played a league match for the Gunners this season.

He won German Bundesliga crowns with Cologne in 2005 and Bayern three years later.

He won the FA Cup with Arsenal last season, having also lifted the German Cup with Bayern in 2008.

He was part of Germany's World Cup winning squad in Brazil in July, although he only played in the group stages.

Podolski scored 31 goals in 82 appearances for Arsenal since arriving from Cologne in 2012.

"Everyone at Arsenal would like to wish Lukas the best for his time in Serie A," the London club said on their website.

This season the World Cup winner has been reduced to being a bit-part player at Arsenal despite injuries to Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott, with manager Arsene Wenger appearing to better trust the speed and skills of younger players such as Danny Welbeck and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Podolski has made just two starts and 11 substitute appearances for the Gunners, netting three times, during the current season.

Podolski became the youngest ever European to reach the 100-cap mark for his country during Euro 2012.

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