Arsenal Transfer News: Gunners Must Hang on to Lukas Podolski

Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistMarch 5, 2014

Arsenal's Lukas Podolski, fights for the ball with Sunderland's Ki Sung-Yong (left) and Phillip Bardsley, during their English Premier League soccer match, at Emirates Stadium, in London, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Bogdan Maran)
Bogdan Maran/Associated Press

Arsenal may be in for a fight if they wish to keep Lukas Podolski at the Emirates this summer, with Inter Milan reportedly interested in the German international.

Only recently returned from injury, the 28-year-old has had a difficult second season with Arsenal after arriving in 2012 from Bundesliga side FC Koln and bagging 16 goals in his first season for the Gunners.

And now, according to Nick Lustig at the Daily Starthe Italian side are looking to lure Podolski to the San Siro:

Inter Milan are weighing up a move to sign Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski this summer.

Inter owner Erick Thohir is eager to overhaul the club's current squad and revealed late last month a deal to bring Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic to the San Siro was close to being completed.

With the Italian outfit also monitoring the contract situations of United's Patrice Evra and Arsenal's Bacary Sagna, Thohir has now set his sights on another Premier League star in Podolski.

Podolski had two spells at Koln, returning to the club after an unhappy three years at Bayern Munich, and has 111 caps for Germany. This is invaluable experience which Arsenal can't afford to lose.

Arsene Wenger must try to keep Podolski, who should be considered a key element to the side the Frenchman is trying to build.

Arsenal's lack of goalscorers is their main issue: In the Premier League this season, only Olivier Giroud has reached double figures with 12 goals. 

Bogdan Maran/Associated Press

A fully fit and in-form Podolski could easily be the answer to that problem. In his last season at Koln he scored 18 goals in 29 appearances, while he has six goals in only eight appearances for Arsenal this season.

And despite his injury troubles he is clearly still full of confidence in his ability as claimed to be optimistic for his chances of getting to the World Cup ahead of Germany's friendly with Chile on Wednesday, per Sky Sports:

I think I've been through a lot and played many international games and tournaments to have the self-confidence to say I will be there.

After my long injury, I'm back in form and I've spoken with my club and national team coaches and I'm happy with the way I'm playing.

I will keep my foot down in training, but I have no fear.

If Arsenal were to lose Podolski, they would be offloading one of few viable options they have up front and would be left in a position in the summer where it would be necessary to shell out many millions to bring in two more world-class forwards. 

And it is clear that Podolski himself is currently eager to perform for the team and is confident in their abilities, including their ambitions to go further in the Champions League.

The Champions League may well be a strong factor in keeping Podolski in London, as Inter are not looking like qualifying for next season's competition.

They currently sit fifth in Serie A, 11 points of Napoli in the final Champions League qualification spot. 

With both Podolski and Giroud at the club, Arsenal have the beginnings of a strong set of forwards, but they should be looking to bring more firepower to the Emirates in the summer, not let it slip away.