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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

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Bierhoff talks up Podolski Arsenal move

Germany general manager Oliver Bierhoff has said that Lukas Podolski would be making a "great move" if he left Cologne for Arsenal this summer.

Podolski, 26, has scored 43 times from 95 caps for Germany - and, with around 18 months left on his current deal, is being tipped to quit Cologne in a few months.

Arsenal have been heavily linked with a move for the striker - possibly as a replacement for Robin van Persie, whose contract is also up in 2013 - and Bierhoff can see the wisdom in that switch.

"Lukas' heart belongs to the city of Cologne, but he is reaching an age right now that leads him to think about the future of his career," Bierhoff told Cologne-based newspaper Express.

"It would be a great move joining Arsenal for [Podolski]. Arsene Wenger is an exceptional manager [who] could make Lukas a stronger and better player."

There have been reports in German newspaper Bild that Podolski has already agreed a deal with the Gunners - and Cologne manager Stale Solbakken is hinting that the former Bayern Munich man has already made his mind up about his next move.

"Lukas knows a lot [about his future]," Solbakken said, according to the Times. "He has everything under control and it is important he can concentrate on our upcoming games."

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