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By ESPN Staff

Rummenigge: Podolski to stay with Bayern

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has ruled out the sale of wantaway striker Lukas Podolski.

The Germany frontman is unhappy with his lack of first-team action at the German champions and has been persistently linked with a move away from the Allianz Arena.

Juventus, Manchester City and Tottenham are all reportedly interested in signing the 23-year-old, while Rummenigge himself revealed Podolski was keen on a return to former club Cologne.

The chairman has now though insisted the forward will still be a Bayern player next season.

Rummenigge told reporters: 'The case has been closed. We have made a categorical decision. The reports about Lukas Podolski are a pure hoax.'

Podolski had to settle for a place on the Bayern bench for much of last season after losing his place to summer signings Miroslav Klose and Luca Toni.

He impressed on the left side of midfield at Euro 2008, scoring three times to finish as Germany's top scorer at the tournament, but at Bayern Frenchman Franck Ribery has made that position his own.

Podolski had appeared to have set his sights on a return to Bundesliga new boys Cologne, the club where he made his name.

He told Sportbild: 'I of course know about enquiries from abroad, which are very attractive from a sporting point of view. But Cologne would be for me a matter of the heart.

'I feel good there and have family there. The birth of my son also comes into the equation. I believe Bayern understand that.'

But it appears the Polish-born forward will have to continue to fight for a starting place under new coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

Rumminige added: 'There is a lot of potential there with Bastian (Schweinsteiger) and Lukas. But I can't give them any guarantee that they will always play. The squad is too well set up for that.'

Bayern have also ruled out a move for Podolski's Germany team-mate Mario Gomez.

The Stuttgart striker was strongly linked with a move to the Bundesliga champions throughout Euro 2008, but Bayern general manager Uli Hoeness revealed the club are not looking to make any more signings this summer.

'No additional players will be signed,' he said.

Gomez was one of the biggest disappointments of the European Championship, failing to score in the tournament, and reports in Germany suggested he may have been distracted by persistent speculation over his future.

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