In an official statement on the club’s website confirming the deal, executive board chairman, Claus Horstmann admitted that Koln had offered the player new “competitive” terms on his contract, but with just one year left on his current deal, a transfer was best for the team.
“We deeply regret his step, which is not a decision against FC but for the good of his own career. 1. FC Cologne were prepared to extend Lukas Podolski's contract on the basis of a competitive offer," Horstmann said.
He added, “Nonetheless, this early transfer decision offers scope and planning security for the next season. We will jump at this opportunity to reinvest these transfer earnings back into our team's quality and into the promotion of our youth squads."
“Lukas has helped the club in many difficult situations, Lukas has left a mark on 1. FC Cologne's reputation and we feel the need to thank him for numerous great football experiences at Cologne.”
The striker has been linked heavily with the Gunners in recent months, with manager Arsene Wenger publicly stating his admiration for the former Bayern Munich player in March.
And the 26-year-old has thanked the Koln fans before his summer switch to the Emirates Stadium: “The move to Arsenal provides a great opportunity for me to gain experience in international competitions at a European top club.
“I have made this decision not against FC Cologne but for this great opportunity and the good of my own individual development.
“This was not an easy decision for me at all, as 1. FC Cologne, our fans and the city are something special for me.
“I will always carry 1. FC Cologne in my heart. We need to pool our strengths now and have to be fully focused on our survival in the Bundesliga.”
- Sports & Recreation
- Lukas Podolski
- FC Cologne