Sunderland’s prize for survival may be Arsenal’s Lukas Podolski

There could be another prize at the end of the tunnel for Dick Advocaat’s Sunderland if they are able to survive this season, according to the Sun.

The paper reports that the Black Cats are one of the front-runners to seal the signature of Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski at the end of the campaign.

However, it is a given that any move to the north east would be subject to the Mackems consolidating their Premier League status (currently a 2/1 shot with Ladbrokes).

The German international is currently on loan at Inter Milan, and has somewhat struggled to hold down a place for il Nerazzuri, making just 14 appearances in all competitions, and finding the net just once.

The fact that his parent club have been happy to loan him out midway through the campaign, suggests that the former Koln man’s future lies away from the Emirates.

But for those doubting his credentials, Podolski’s goalscoring return in the Premier League has been fairly respectable.

In the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons, campaigns when he was featuring regularly in Arsene Wenger’s plans, he netted 28 times from 69 appearances in all competitions.

He arrived at Ashburton Grove for £11m three years ago, but with only a year left to run on his contract, and no place in the starting XI for the north London side, a cut-price deal may be on.

The lack of attacking prowess at the Stadium of Light is something that has dogged them all season, and one of the major contributions to their relegation struggle in recent months.

Jermain Defoe’s arrival was lauded as a masterstroke, and was mooted as the savior of their season, however that was not to be.

The former Tottenham and West Ham man has found the net just three times in 14 matches since arriving from Toronto, and looks in dire need of support up top next season.

A move for Podolski could be the best deal for all parties, but Sunderland will have to make do without him as they fight for their top-flight lives before they can look towards the summer.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.