Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski has completed his transfer to Turkish giants Galatasaray on a three-year deal reported to be worth an initial £1.8m.
The World Cup winning German International, who joined the Gunners in 2012 from Bundesliga side FC Koln for £11m, spent the second half of last season on loan to Inter Milan in the Italian Serie A following limited playing time at Arsenal. The arrival of Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck meant Podolski spent more time on the bench than on the field of play.
Turkish champions Galatasaray are expected to pay a further £2.1m per season for three years and an additional £1.8m if the option of a fourth season is accepted. Arsenal will also be entitled to receive £357,000 if the Turkish Super Lig Champions qualify for the Champions league during Podolski’s contract.
Speaking on the transfer, President of Galatasaray Dursun Aydin Ozbek admitted that Podolski had been a long term target for the Turkish side: “Podolski was a player we have been following for a long time. We have met the expectations of our fans. We think he will serve us for so many years.”
Podolski expressed his happiness after signing the deal: “First of all I would like to thank everyone. My parents supported me to go to Galatasaray and I am happy for it to be agreed.”
He further stated that: “I came to a winning team that will compete in the Champions League if we qualify.
“Galatasaray fans gave support to me in the years last year and I feel a large share of warmth today while I’m signing.”
Podolski scored 31 goals in 82 appearances for Arsenal and helped the Gunners recapture the FA Cup in 2013/2014 season; their first major title since 2005.
He has also been capped 125 times for Germany scoring 48 goals.