Schalke keen on Podolski
Schalke CEO Clemens Tonnies has confirmed the club’s interest in signing Cologne striker Lukas Podolski.
It was reported on Thursday that Schalke are interested in Podolski as a
replacement for Spanish striker Raul, whose contract is set to expire at the
end of the season.
Tonnies says they are keeping a close eye on the German
“Yes, we are paying attention to Podolski’s situation,”
Tonnies told Bild.
Schalke coach Huub Stevens praised the former Bayern Munich forward, who he
feels would be a welcome addition to his squad.
“Lukas Podolski is a great player,” Stevens said. “He is fast, a
goal threat, and has potential for development.”
Schalke are reportedly putting together a 25 million-euro deal for Podolski which
would include the expected 15 million-euro transfer fee and a three-year
contract for the player worth a total of 10 million euros.
Schalke would be able to fund the move with money saved from the expected
removal of Raul and Jefferson Farfan, who is also out of contact at the end of the season,
from their wage bill.
Arsenal and Lokomotiv Moscow are also reportedly keen on the player, with the English
outfit said to have bid 23 million euros.
But while Podolski is aware of the interest in his services, he insists he will
not be rushed into a decision on his future.
“I am aware of the offers,” the 26-year-old said. “(But) I will
not be put under pressure. I still have one and a half years left on my
contract. That’s a long time.”
Podolski started his professional career at Cologne and returned to the club in
2009 after a three-year spell with Bayern Munich.