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Podolski turned down Russia move

It is being reported today that Arsenal signing-to-be Lukas Podolski turned down a move to big-spending Anzhi Makhachkala in favour of the Gunners.

The Germany international is set to join to the North London giants at the end of the season after Arsenal and Cologne agreed a fee of around £10.9m.

26-year-old Podolski has reportedly agreed a £100k-a-week wages, including his signing on fee, but it has now emerged that Anzhi offered that former Bayern Munich star double that to move to Russia.

However, the front-man has confirmed he didn’t want to move for financial reasons and has joined the top four contenders to develop his game.

“Money is not the most important thing for me,” said Podolski.

“What is crucial is the development of my game.”

Podolski has been in impressive form for the Bundesliga giants, netting 16 times in 22 games and his goalscoring exploits will be vital to Arsene Wenger if the club are to establish themselves as genuine title contenders next season. The fact that Podolski turned down a move to the Russian giants is a prime example of a player that won’t move for financial motives in what has seen the increase in ‘mercenaries’ within the game.

Manager Wenger has assured fans that he has been brought in to play alongside Robin Van Persie, not replace the talismanic front-man, despite their similarities, which is testament to the reluctance the Gunners have to selling their prized asset. The Frenchman now needs to back-up the signing of the Poland-born Germany international with a big summer of investment that has been mooted.

Mario Gotze and Yann M’Vila have both been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates and both will go to great lengths to convincing the Dutchman his future lies in North London. And with Podolski now, unofficially, on board, with his goalscoring exploits in Germany evident for all to see, he will be an excellent addition to the Arsenal first-team and will offer a further dimension to the squad for Wenger to utilise.