Italian side Lazio have joined the list of challengers hoping to unsettle Arsenal's pursuit of Cologne forward Lukas Podolski.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is looking to strengthen his forces up front, with Marouane Chamakh failing to tick in the Premiership. The Frenchman will keenly monitor the German international's situation, especially with Lazio emerging as serious contenders for the 26-year-old's signature.

However, the first hurdle the two teams have to cross will be to convince Cologne into selling their best player. Podolski himself is looking to move away, with his contract running out in June 2013, but Cologne are unwilling to let their man go.

Lukas Podolski is our most valuable player at the moment. We want him to enjoy life at our club. And we will surely explore all possibilities to make him stay at Cologne in the future, said manager Volker Finke.

Unfortunately for Arsenal, reports state Podolski's agent Kon Schramm as saying his player would be interested in Lazio.

Lukas to Lazio? We will see what happens in January. Speaking to the player (about a Lazio move), he has showed an interest, the agent told

But, for now it's a little early to speak about the market.