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Arsenal agree deal to sign Lukas Podolski


German daily Bild claim that Cologne and Arsenal have agreed on the transfer of Germany international Lukas Podolski.

The newspaper said on its website that Podolski will transfer to the Premier League side at the end of the season for a fee of €13 million ($17.1 million).

Bild reported that the 26-year-old Podolski has agreed a four year deal with Arsenal that will double his current salary to around €7 million per year.

Cologne newspaper Express also said Podolski will move from his hometown club in the summer. The Polish-born forward has a contract with Cologne until 2013, and Express says the club was keen not to lose him on a free transfer next year.

Podolski is having a career-best season with 16 goals, and was directly involved in four more of Cologne's 31 league goals this season.

He criticized club officials last month for failing to keep their promise to build a competitive team.
Attempts to contact the Bundesliga club for comment late Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Podolski refused to comment on the transfer speculation after scoring in Cologne's 1-1 draw at Hoffenheim on Sunday.

"I'll give my all for Cologne until the end," he told reporters before leaving.

Germany defender Per Mertesacker, who joined Arsenal from Werder Bremen last summer, told Sky television on Tuesday that his national teammate had sent him text messages inquiring about the Premier League club, but that the transfer had not yet been completed.

Express says Podolski's previous club Bayern Munich will earn a share of any transfer fee, as will investors, leaving Cologne with around 60 percent of the sum paid.

Podolski has scored 43 goals in 95 games for Germany, where he usually operates on the left. He has been employed primarily as a striker by Cologne.