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Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Cologne-bound Podolski hits out at Klinsmann

Lukas Podolski has hit out at Bayern Munich coach Jurgen Klinsmann following his decision to return to Cologne at the end of the season.

The Germany international has agreed a reported 10 million euro transfer to his former club after three disappointing years with Bayern.

Podolski failed to make the grade under Klinsmann's predecessors Felix Magath and Ottmar Hitzfeld, but thought things would change after shining for Germany at Euro 2008.

But the 23-year-old has now accused Klinsmann of making his third year with the Bundesliga champions as frustrating as his previous two.

''A new coach arrived and there was the chance to give it another go, but I was told immediately I was only the number three striker,'' he told Sport Bild magazine.

''(I was told) my development here would last one or two years before I can get past the two (Luca Toni and Miroslav Klose). That was not particularly motivating.'' Podolski has been pondering a move away from Bayern since then and Cologne were the only other club he could imagine playing for.

''They have impressed me a lot,'' he said. ''They want to take the club forward and I fit in there because I want to take my career forward too. If it had been anything to do with money, I would have moved abroad. I had enough offers.''

Although the move may be seen as a step back in his career, particularly if Cologne fail to avoid relegation this year, Podolski feels the transfer is the right one for him.

''A lot of people were surprised when Ralf Rangnick moved into the regional league with Hoffenheim after his time with Schalke, and now he is in first position (in the Bundesliga),'' explained Podolski.

''Of course Cologne has a particular place in my heart, but that was not everything. There were also very convincing sporting reasons behind the move. At the end of the day, everybody has to make up their own mind.''

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