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Lukas Podolski only wants Arsenal stay if guaranteed regular football

Lukas Podolski is unsure where he will be playing his football next season, although he insists he will only remain at Arsenal if he is to feature regularly for the club.

Podolski, 30, is set to return to the Gunners, where he has a year left on his contract, after a six-month loan spell at Inter Milan.

The Germany international endured a frustrating time in Serie A and is uncertain if he will be able to turn his fortunes around back at Arsenal.

"I can't make any claims. I am under contract at Arsenal," he told kicker. "I have not talked to Arsenal yet, but if I return I want to play. I won't sit on the bench or in the stands."

Podolski failed to make it into the first XI for a single Premier League game at Arsenal during the first half of last season, while his final starting appearance for Inter came back in March, with the Italian side then opting not to keep him at the San Siro.

Arsenal teammate and fellow Germany international Mesut Ozil is hopeful that Podolski will stick around in North London, although he did not mention how the forward could help the club on the pitch.

He told Bild: "Poldi is a great guy who pushes his colleagues and plays funny pranks."

Podolski, who is putting his future to one side while he goes on holiday, is certain that he will only return to the Bundesliga to play for his hometown club Cologne.

"I don't have the heart to play for another club in Germany out of respect for the Cologne fans," he said. "But I will continue to play football somewhere around the world until I am six feet under the ground."

Elsewhere, Germany international and Schalke captain Benedikt Howedes has been linked with a move to Arsenal.

Howedes is reported by kicker to have a release clause in his contract which has to be activated by the end of Monday.

The paper reports that Arsenal are willing to meet the fixed transfer fee of around €17 million, but Howedes is still uncertain if he wants to leave the club he has been at for his entire professional career.

Ozil has advised Howedes to make the move to England, telling Bild am Sonntag: "The Premier League is the best league in the world. Not only one or two but three or four teams compete for the title.

"Everybody can beat everybody and the opponents won't give up even when they're down 3-0. The league is very challenging, physically and tactically. I think players like Mats Hummels and Benedikt Howedes have the potential to make it at one of the big clubs."


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