Lukas Podolski says he has no intention of returning to Cologne just yet but hinted he could make the move when he’s out of contract at Arsenal in 2016.
The German international, a cult hero at his former club who returns to the RheinEnergieStadion whenever he gets a spare moment, has repeatedly hinted he’d like to end his career in his hometown but once again took the chance to stress his commitment to the Gunners cause.
Speaking at a promotional event that took place in his own personal box at Cologne’s stadium, the 28-year-old stated:
“I am under contract at Arsenal for another two years. What will happen then, we will see. It would be too early to retire at 31, I want to play for a few more years.
“We’ll see if it will be down there on that pitch. Maybe we will all meet again for a news conference in these rooms.”
Podolski was heavily linked with a move to Schalke in January but despite his comparative lack of playing time at Arsenal this term (he scored 12 goals in 27 appearances) it looks likely he’ll stay following a strong end to the season.
No doubt his country will be hoping he carries his good form into the summer as he looks to build on his amazing 112 caps.
Claiming he’s not heading to Brazil “to have a holiday or [to] take a look at the Copacabana,” he told press yesterday he wants “to have a good tournament,” and that “the national coach can count on me in any position. I’m going to Brazil full of confidence.”
Podolski also touched on the upturn in expectation at home with Die Mannschaft tipped as one of the World Cup favourites.
“Reaching the quarter-finals in 2006 was a huge success and turned Germany on its head. This year, you get the feeling that losing in the semi-final would fall short of expectations. But that’s sport for you.”
Indeed it is Lukas. Indeed it is.