Podolski secures Köln return | inside World Soccer

Podolski secures Köln return

[Tuesday, January 20, 2009 ]

Germany and Bayern Munich striker Lukas Podolski has agreed to rejoin former club FC Köln next season.

A statement on Köln's official website read: "Bayern Munich and Köln have agreed on the transfer of Lukas Podolski. Lukas Podolski will join on July 1, 2009 and gets a four-year contract."

The German media speculated that Podolski's return cost Köln €10 million, the same amount in they received from Bayern for his transfer.

Podolski moved to Bayern after the 2006 World Cup but has grown increasingly frustrated at his lack of first-team opportunities at the Allianz Arena.

"I am happy that the decision over my sporting future has been made and the speculation is at an end," the Polish-born told his personal website.

"I had very good talks with (coach) Christoph Daum and Michael Meier and have been completely convinced by the concept of the club.

"I am looking forward to the challenge. Until the summer, I will concentrate entirely on Bayern."

Meanwhile, Köln chairman Wolfgang Overath is delighted to have secured a significant coup for the club

"I am glad Lukas is returning to us," he told the club's official website. "He followed his heart.

"I am also delighted that we as a newly-promoted club could sign a Germany international like Lukas Podolski."

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