Galatasaray finally get their man as Podolski transferred from Arsenal
ISTANBUL: Lukas Podolski completed his transfer from Arsenal to Galatasaray on Saturday after the Turkish club agreed a fee of around 2.85 million pounds ($4.45 million) to finally land their man at the fourth attempt.
The Germany striker signed his contract in front of fans of the Istanbul side, who won the domestic league last season and have snared the 30-year-old having tracked him for three years.
Podolski, who made two appearances for Germany in the World Cup last year but did not play against Argentina in the final, will be looking to kick-start his career after failing to establish himself at Arsenal.
Although he scored 31 goals in 82 appearances in his three seasons there after his 11 million pounds move from Cologne in July 2012, he was in and out of the side and was loaned to Inter Milan for the second half of last season, managing one goal in 10 appearances.
Podolski was clearly pleased to put his recent frustrations behind him.
"I'm really happy with the great team mates that I've got here who I used to follow before in the league matches on TV," he said.
"In any case I was always aware of the great and exciting atmosphere that surrounds Galatasaray -- a team that aims to please the fans.
"Speaking of which, the very warm Galatasaray fan support which I also knew about before really helped me make my decision about signing."
Galatasaray, whose one European title came when they beat Arsenal on penalties in the UEFA Cup final in 2000, originally tried to sign Podolski in 2012 and they made two more failed attempts until securing his signature on Saturday.
Erbatur Ergenekon, pundit for NTV Sport in Turkey, added: "Podolski is a world star, a very famous football player not only on the pitch. Off the pitch it will bring so many things to Galatasaray and Turkish football.
"Now there are two big world stars in Galatasaray with Wesley Sneijder and Podolski and that will make it tougher for their rivals like Fenerbahce and Besiktas."