Lukas to leave Gunners?
Lukas fed up of warming bench

Arsene Wenger says Inter Milan’s are “all talk” in pursuing Lukas Podolski, as the January transfer window prepares to open.

Wenger used his pre-match press conference for the Premier League match with Southampton on New Year’s Day (Thursday) to brand Inter Milan’s attempts to sign Lukas Podolski as a “joke”.

New Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini has said: “Podolski is a good player. He is part of a list of players that we are following, so we will see what will come of it.”

It is believed that Inter want to sign Podolski on loan rather than on a permanent deal.

Arsenal may well be prepared to sell Podolski should a suitable offer be made.

But Wenger said this morning: “That is a joke. Inter Milan is not serious. It is nothing serious. They talk, there is only talks. I hope (he will be an Arsenal player at the end of January).”

“He’s a player of Arsenal Football Club and I want him to stay. Apart from that, what is to be professional is that as long as you are somewhere, you give your best to justify your wages and your love for the club.”

Ironically Podolski who has been frustrated by his lack of action for the Gunners this season may get a rare start at Southampton as Danny Welbeck is a doubt for the match with a thigh problem.

Wenger added: “We have one alert after the game at West Ham and that’s Danny Welbeck. He could be short for Thursday. [He has] a thigh problem.”

Wenger hasn’t ruled out loan moves for Yaya Sanogo and Joel Campbell in January.

Wenger said: “I don’t really doubt in some positions where players need experience. That’s not the case for Podolski but players who need practice because they’re at a very young age like Sanogo is not impossible.”

Wenger also confirmed that he would consider buying in the transfer window, with a defender believed to be a priority due to continuing concerns over Laurent Koscielny’s fitness.

“There is a need there but the right opportunity has to come up. To buy to buy is not what we want to do but if the right opportunity comes up, we will do it,” said Wenger.