Former Arsenal forward Podolski announces Japan move

Matt Stead

Former Germany forward Lukas Podolski will move to Japan at the end of the season.

The 31-year-old, who was part of his country’s 2014 World Cup-winning squad, is currently with Turkish side Galatasaray but announced on Instagram on Thursday that he would join Vissel Kobe in the summer.

He said: “It’s not a decision against Galatasaray, it’s a decision I made for a new challenge, and I will explain more when the time is right. But right now my only focus is helping Galatasaray and our fantastic fans!”

The Poland-born striker came through the ranks at Cologne and had a second stint at the club after three years with Bayern Munich between 2006 and 2009.

He joined Arsenal in 2012 before moving on to Gala in the summer of 2015.

He quit the national team in August 2016, having scored 48 goals in 129 appearances.