Cologne make Podolski claim

Germany forward Lukas Podolski would only be interested in leaving Bayern Munich to rejoin his old club Cologne, according to their sporting director Michael Meier.

"We understand that in the event of a transfer, only Cologne would interest him," Meier told German tabloid Bild.

A host of European clubs, including Hamburg, Tottenham Hotspur, Marseille and Manchester City, have been linked with Podolski, but defending Bundesliga champions Bayern inist he is going nowhere until at least next summer.

Podolski joined Bayern for ten million euros after the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™, but he has failed to make his mark in Munich behind first-choice strikers Luca Toni and Miroslav Klose. However, Meier insisted the 23-year-old will not join them this winter when January's transfer window opens.

"Bayern have clearly said 'Poldi' will not change clubs this winter," added Meier. "We would like it if 'Poldi' joins us next summer."

But Cologne have said they will not break the bank to bring Podolski back to the club where he made his name. "Bayern are ready to negotiate, but we will not do something insane and enter into a bidding competition with other big clubs," said managing director Claus Horstmann.

Despite scoring 31 goals for Germany and winning 60 caps for his country, Podolski has failed to impress Bayern coach Jurgen Klinsmann and the Bavarian giants have already rejected an offer for the player from Cologne.