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Lukas Podolski is odds-on to be an Arsenal player before the start of next season following reports suggesting a deal was close.

Lukas Podolski is odds-on to be an Arsenal player before the start of next season following reports suggesting a deal was close.

Reports in newspapers on Thursday morning suggested that Arsenal had agreed a fee with FC Koln for the 26-year-old, believed to be in the region of £11million.

And following earlier reports in Germany that personal terms had already been agreed, bookmakers William Hill on Thursday afternoon made Podolski just 4/7 to join the Gunners this summer.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will now be hoping that a deal for Podolski will help convince captain Robin van Persie to sign a new deal at the club this summer.

But Hill's disagree and have shortened their odds to 5/6 (from Evens) for the Netherlands international to have quit the club before the opening day of the 2012-13 Premier League season, fuelling speculation that Podolski will be a replacement for the Dutchman rather than somebody to play alongside him next season.

Van Persie is out of contract in June 2013 and is unwilling to discuss a new deal until the end of the season.

Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker admitted on Wednesday that Podolski had been asking him about the north London club.

"He has been very interested for the past few weeks," said the centre-back.

"He has sent me a number of text messages, and I have told him this is a great place to work and Arsenal are an amazing club.

by Crunch Sports Staff


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