Bayern Munich general manager Uli Hoeness has conceded for the first time striker Lukas Podolski could leave the club – but not until the end of the season.
Podolski, who is currently out with a back injury, has been unable to secure regular first-team football this season with Miroslav Klose and Luca Toni ahead of him in the Bayern pecking order.
And Hoeness told ARD television on Sunday night that “even I can well imagine him leaving at the end of the season”.
“If we can find a replacement for him, I imagine we will be able to grant his wish of going to Cologne,” added Hoeness. “We have six months.”
In the meantime, Bayern have been negotiating with another transfer target. Bild newspaper has revealed talks were held with Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Anatoliy Tymoshchuk in a Munich hotel yesterday.
“We had a very informative chat,” said club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge upon leaving the hotel. “It is not about fetching the player this winter. We are talking about next summer.
“There are still a few things to clear up and the player would like a bit of time to think.”
Tymoshchuk is being lined up to replace captain Mark van Bommel, whose contract expires in the summer and is not expected to be extended.