Podolski rejected Anzhi to make Arsenal switch

Lukas Podolski turned down an offer from mega-rich Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala in order to join Arsenal this summer, the Guardian has claimed.

Podolski has reportedly agreed a transfer to the Gunners from current club FC Koln worth in the region of £11m. But the Guardian reveal Anzhi offered to double Podolski’s expected wage at Arsenal, which the Guardian put at £100,000 a week including bonuses and add-ons. Anzhi were reportedly willing to offer Podolski closer to £200,000 a week.

Anzhi are based in the Dagestan region of Russia and financed by Suleyman Kerimov, a politician, businessman and No 118 on Forbes’ Magazine’s list of the world’s billionaires. Kerimov’s fortune is reported to stand at £7.8b.

Spurred by Kerimov’s wealth Anzhi have been able to appoint former Chelsea, Russia and Turkey manager Guus Hiddink as Head Coach, as well as assemble a squad containing ex-Chelsea winger Yuri Zhirkov, Christopher Samba, signed from Blackburn Rovers in February, Brazilian World Cup winner Roberto Carlos and Samuel Eto’o, the former Barcelona striker believed to be the game’s highest-paid player.

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