Furious speculation continues to rage surrounding the future of Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski, who is reportedly far from happy with the ancillary role he is forced to play in north London.
Moves to all corners of Europe have been mooted in recent weeks, but boss Arsene Wenger has moved to quash the exit rumours, telling beIN Sports:
“It is not established at all that he will leave at Christmas. It is me who sets the price and [the reported deal] doesn’t correspond at all to his price. He is not for sale and there is no offer.”
Categorical from the Frenchman indeed, but his insistence has served the exact opposite purpose of which it was intended.
Throughout the 65-year-old’s 18-year Arsenal tenure the words ‘he’s not for sale’ have passed his lips on numerous occasions, which have typically spelled the end of the person in question’s Gunners career.
Podolski is the latest to pucker up for the Wenger kiss of death, the consequences of which suggest he’s not long for life at the Emirates.
“It is simple – he will not go,” said the three-time Premier League winner of legendary midfielder Patrick Vieira, just 12 months before he joined Juventus, suggesting that even a then world record £50m bid wouldn’t be an acceptable bid.
Samir Nasri was subject to a similar line just days before ditching Arsenal for Manchester City, of whom he said:
“Will he be at the club next season? I say yes.”
Wenger, of course, was wrong about this, while his 2009 assessment of Cesc Fabregas’ chances of joining Barcelona also proved wayward:
Do you really think we sell now our players one day before the championship starts, players who are basic players of the team? There is no chance.”
Fair enough, he didn’t sell then, but left two years later Fabregas was gone…the deal going through two days AFTER the league started.
“I think that he will be still at Arsenal this season,” said Wenger of Emmanuel Adebayor on July 4th 2009, who completed his move to Man City on July 18th 2009.
It proved to be quite a busy month of outgoings at the Emirates, with Kolo Toure following the Togolese titan to the Etihad after his former boss said of the potential deal:
“That is finished. We will not sell any players this month.”
There you have it, Gooners, Podolski is as good as gone.
Galatasaray are 8/1 favourites to land his signature before the end of the next summer transfer window, while it’s 11/1 he goes to Olympiakos.
Either are worth a bet, though one thing is nigh-on certain – he won’t be at Arsenal then.