Arsenal tracking £20m Germany striker
Published 23:00 28/11/11 By John Cross
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has stepped up his interest in Germany striker Lukas Podolski.
Gunners scouts watched the Cologne star in their defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday, which confirms the 26-year-old is firmly on Wenger's radar as he looks to strengthen his forward line.
Arsenal also fancy Borussia Dortmund forward Mario Gotze, even though the German club do not want to sell the player, who has also drawn interested from Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, in January.
However, they have a more pressing need for a central striker as they want top quality cover and competition for - and someone to potentially partner - Robin van Persie.
Podolski fits that bill, and would also prove Arsenal's ambition to Van Persie as they look to persuade the Dutch striker to sign a new contract.
A bid of around £20million could tempt Cologne to sell, as Podolski is out of contract in 2013.
Arsenal have had an eye on Podolski since they played Cologne in pre-season.
They have followed up their early interest with several scouting missions and believe he is capable of playing as a lone striker or in a more traditional 4-4-2.
Podolski escaped unhurt on Monday after getting into a car crash as he drove to training.
Police say three people in the car hit by Podolski's were taken to be examined in a hospital as a precaution.
Podolski said: “Thank God, nothing much happened.”