After weeks of speculation that a deal had been completed, Lukas Podolski has today confirmed that he will be joining Arsenal ahead of next season.

The announcement was made on the website of Podolski's current club FC Koln. The statement reveals that both clubs had agreed to keep details of the transfer quiet.

The move to Arsenal provides a great opportunity for me to gain experience in international competitions at a European top club, Podolski said in the statement.

I have made this decision not against FC Cologne but for this great opportunity and the good of my own individual development.

A fee has not been disclosed, but is believed to be in the region of £11 million. Podolski had a year remaining on his contract.

Podolski began his career with Koln, before returning to the club after three largely unfulfilled seasons at Bayern Munich.

Koln executive board chairman, Claus Horstmann, said that they were reluctant to lose the player but reluctantly accepted Podolski's wish to move to pastures new.

Lukas Podolski is a player of world class standing with a special relation to 1 .FC Cologne's fans and to the city, he said.

FC Cologne were prepared to extend Lukas Podolski's contract on the basis of a competitive offer. Nonetheless, this early transfer decision offers scope and planning security for the next season.

Podolski has scored 18 goals in 27 Bundesliga starts for relegation-threatened Koln this season. He has also amassed an impressive record at international level, with 45 goals in 93 appearances for Germany.

Although operating primarily centrally for Koln, the 26-year-old generally plays on the left for the German national team. Podolski will give Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger plenty of options next season as he looks to take some of the goal scoring burden off of Robin van Persie.