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Vissel announce acquisition of German striker Podolski

Kyodo

Vissel Kobe have acquired German World Cup-winning striker Lukas Podolski from Turkish club Galatasaray on a multiyear contract, the J. League first-division side said Thursday.

Vissel are discussing with Galatasaray the timing of the 31-year-old Podolski’s move to Kobe.

“I can confirm that at the end of this season I will join Vissel Kobe from the J. League in Japan,” Podolski said on his Instagram account.

“It’s not a decision against Galatasaray, it’s a decision I made for a new challenge, and I will explain more when the time is right. But right now my only focus is helping Galatasaray and our fantastic fans!”

Podolski, who has played in three consecutive World Cup soccer tournaments through 2014, will reportedly receive an annual salary of ¥600 million (about $5.2 million).

With 129 caps and 48 goals for Germany, the former Bayern Munich and Arsenal retired from the national team last summer.

He is the biggest name to arrive in the J. League since Uruguayan striker Diego Forlan, who played for Cerezo Osaka from 2014 to 2015.