Ex-Arsenal man Podolski confirms J-League move

Former Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski has confirmed that he will join J-League side Vissel Kobe this summer.

World Cup winner Podolski moved to Turkish side Galatasary in 2015 and has lifted both the Turkish Cup and the Turkish Super Cup during his time in Istanbul.

However, the 31-year-old is heading to Japan at the end of the campaign after announcing the switch on social media.

"I can confirm that at the end of this season I will join Vissel Kobe from the J-League in Japan,” the ex-German international said on Instagram.

“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."

Podolski made 82 appearances for Arsenal during his three years at the Emirates after previous spells at Bayern Munich and Cologne.

Kobe chairman Hiroshi Mikitani said: "We are very excited to have a world-class striker join the Vissel Kobe team.

"We have very high expectations of Podolski's ability to take the Vissel Kobe team to victory in the J-League.

"Along with the Rakuten partnership with FC Barcelona due to start in July 2017, we expect that Podolski's decision to join us will become another new window to open up Japan to the world of global football."