Podolski leaves Vissel Kobe amid speculation of Malaysia move

Germany great Lukas Podolski has said goodbye to Japanese side Vissel Kobe, but the 34-year-old is not expected to retire.

Former Germany forward Lukas Podolski   -  Getty Images

Lukas Podolski has left Vissel Kobe amid speculation he is to join Malaysian Super League champion Johor Darul Ta'zim.

The former Bayern Munich and Arsenal forward moved to the J1 League in 2017 and made 59 appearances in all competitions, winning the Emperor's Cup last year.

Vissel confirmed on Saturday that Podolski's contract, which expired at the end of last season, will not be renewed. "I was able to come to a wonderful country called Japan and get to know Japanese culture," Podolski said via the club's website.

"I'll keep in touch in the future, but today I will take this opportunity to say thank you. Thank you, all."

 

The 2014 World Cup winner has been tipped to sign for JDT after visiting the club's training ground this week. Tunku Ismail Idris, the Crown Prince of Johor and owner of the club, claimed previously this month that Podolski was interested in a move.

However, any deal for the 34-year-old could be complicated by the fact JDT has signed five foreign players for the coming season and so does not have space to bring in another, as per Malaysia Football League (MFL) guidelines.

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