Bayern Munich are close to agreeing a deal that will send Germany striker Lukas Podolski back to his former club Cologne at the end of the season, Bayern manager Uli Hoeness said on Friday. Speaking to German television station ZDF in Dubai where the Bundesliga champions are preparing before the start of the second round of the season, Hoeness said he thought a deal could be struck for Podolski by the end of the month. "I am in talks with Cologne. When I return next week I will continue the negotiations. I think that by the end of the month we can have settled this issue," Hoeness said. "We just need to finalise some details. I think we can make it." Bayern have demanded no less than 10 million euros ($13.68 million) for the striker with German media reporting Cologne's first offer as being around 7.5 million euros ($10.26 million). Podolski has struggled to find a starting place in Bayern's teams since signing for them in 2006 from Cologne. With the addition of striker Landon Donovan on loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy and Croatian Ivica Olic joining Bayern from next season, competition for a starting place that already includes Italian striker Luca Toni and Germany international Miroslav Klose will be tough.
9 January 2009
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