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Roma's chance to bounce back

AS Roma
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By ESPN Staff

Unhappy Podolski chases transfer to Bayern

BERLIN, May 11 (Reuters) - Germany striker Lukas Podolski does not want to play in the second division with relegated Cologne next season and would like a move to Bayern Munich.

"I've already gone through that," Podolski, 20, told Bild newspaper on Thursday. "I went down to the second division with Cologne two years ago without making any demands, even though I had other opportunities."

Podolski, 18 at the time, had won his first cap for Germany but stayed loyal to Cologne, where he grew up, and played in the second division for a season before Cologne were promoted.

He is now being jeered in Cologne for saying he wants to move to Bayern Munich.

"I'm an international player and always said that my future plans depend on what happens with Cologne," he said.

Podolski has a contract to 2008 although he could leave after the 2006/07 season for a fixed fee of 1 million euros ($1.27 million).

Bayern Munich have said they would like to get Podolski now and German media reports say the champions would have to pay between eight and 10 million euros.

"I hope there's no mudslinging," Podolski said. "I hope the two clubs can reach an agreement soon.

"It's important for my career that I compete with the best. That's not the case in the second division, but it is with Bayern."