Arsenal transfer news: Lukas Podolski signs for Galatasaray, celebrates with a Turkish tea

Podolski ends his three-year stay at Arsenal after making 82 appearances for the Gunners

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The Independent Football

Lukas Podolski has left Arsenal to join Turkish side Galatasaray, and celebrated his new deal by sipping a Turkish tea in front of the media.

The 2014 World Cup winner took part in a live contract signing that was streamed on the club's website, and once all the formalities were out the way, their new signing was given a tea - much to his amusement.

Galatasaray were in the hunt for the 30-year-old forward back in 2012, but he elected to join Arsenal instead after the Gunners agreed an £11m deal with German side Koln. Having grown into a fan favourite at the Emirates due to his excitable character and his passion for the club, Podolski soon found himself on the fringes of the first-team, and he was sent out on loan in January to Inter Milan for the rest of last season.

The Germany international didn’t enjoy his spell in Italy, scoring just once in 18 appearances, and he labelled Arsene Wenger’s decision to let him leave on loan a “mistake” that signalled his Arsenal career was coming to an end.

 

Having announced last night that they were holding talks with the Germany international – who has made an impressive 125 appearances for his country and needs two more goals to reach his half-century – the club revealed on Twitter that Podolski will join the club when he signs a contract on Saturday afternoon.

 

“Germany number 10 Lukas Podolski will officially sign the contract at the Türk Telekom Arena today at 16:30 local time, 15:30 CET,” the club said on Twitter.

Podolski’s agent Nassim Touihri added that Wenger wanted to keep Podolski at Arsenal with one year left to run on his £100,000-a-week contract, but explained why they felt it best that the former Bayern Munich player moved on after three years at the Emirates.

“We had good talks with Wenger,” Touihri said. “He wanted to keep Lukas at Arsenal but could not guarantee him a starting position. That’s why we agreed to make a transfer.”

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Lukas Podolski has joined Galatasaray

With the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Santi Cazorla ahead of him in the pecking order for Arsenal’s left midfield spot, Podolski has been forced to seek a move to secure first-team football, and he was rarely used by Wenger as a striker despite his impressive goal tally for his country.

He leaves Arsenal having made 82 appearances, 60 of which came in the Premier League, and found the back of the net 31 times for the Gunners.

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