Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski has made it clear that he is not willing to spend time on the bench at the Emirates Stadium next season, and will look for a new club if he is not a regular member of the starting XI.
The German international joined the Gunners from Cologne in 2012 and became an instant fan favourite, but failed to nail down a regular place in Arsene Wenger's preferred XI. He is normally used by the manager as an impact substitute off the bench and very rarely plays the full 90 minutes.
The 30-year-old forward, who has been capped 124 times by Germany, struggled to get regular game time last season, following the arrival of Alexis Sanchez, with the manager preferring the Chilean or Santi Cazorla on the left side of Arsenal's front three. This left Podolski frustrated, and he was shipped off to Inter Milan on loan in January.
But the striker failed to make an impact at the San Siro and has returned to north London following the end of the season. He is now looking forward to the next campaign with the hope that he will be more regularly involved, but insists that he will not accept a place on the bench and if needed will look for pastures new.
"For me to make an important decision, perhaps to stay in London, to give full throttle again and how to attack. I'm not going to get there and sit quietly on the bench," Podolski said, as quoted by the Berliner Morgenpost.
"If it is a new club, I have to make the right decision. Because it is perhaps the last big contract for me," the German international added.
German national team coach Joachim Loew has also advised Podolski to carefully consider his future, and has asked the forward to speak to Wenger ahead of next season regarding the manager's plans for the forward.
"He now needs to talk to Arsene Wenger looking and wondering how his plans are. Otherwise I can only seriously advise him to take a change into consideration," Loew added.
"He has not played so often in the past season on 90 minutes. It would be for him but important. He is a player type who thrives on the play, the rhythm and the tempo. It would be desirable for all of them."