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Lukas Podolski nears Arsenal exit as Inter make improved offer

• Arsène Wenger confirms Italian side have made ‘more serious’ bid

• Podolski did not feature during New Year’s Day loss at Southampton

Wenger confronted by fan on pitch at St Mary’s

Match report: Southampton 2-0 Arsenal

Lukas Podolski’s proposed transfer from Arsenal to Internazionale is believed to be on the brink of completion. Inter have returned with a more realistic offer for the Germany striker, who was not a part of the Arsenal squad that lost 2-0 at Southampton in the Premier League on New Year’s Day.

The Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, cited a “tight groin” as the reason for Podoski’s absence, and the Frenchman smirked as he said so. Wenger also said that the 29-year-old had not trained since Sunday’s win at West Ham United. Podolski is expected to again be absent when Arsenal begin their FA Cup defence this weekend against the team they beat in last season’s final, Hull City.

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