Arsenal are reportedly close to signing Lukas Podolski after the German striker expressed his interest in playing in the Premier League.

Podolski, 26, has been linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium since last summer but reports in German newspaper Bild suggest he will be available at the end of the season for a fee in the region of £16m.

The paper reports that a provisional agreement is already in place between Arsenal and Podolski but there remains an understanding that any transfer is dependent on Cologne sanctioning a deal for their influential striker.

Podolski has been in scintillating form in the Bundesliga this season, notching 15 goals in 19 appearances as Cologne battle against relegation. The German international has been mentioned as a natural foil for Arsenal captain Robin van Persie, given his ability to play out wide and in support of a main striker.

And, with van Persie's Arsenal future in the balance, a move for Podolski would certainly demonstrate the club's ambition in the transfer market and could tempt the Dutchman to extend his stay in north London.

Earlier this week, Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis revealed the club will have money available to spend this summer, after the club accrued £63m in player sales in the second half of 2011.

"We have a healthy cash balance of £115m at the half year, but it is important to understand that not all of this money is available to spend on transfers," Gazidis said.

"But we do have money available. We have to invest efficiently, we have to do it sensibly as we do not have the kind of money that other clubs have. But we have enough I believe, if we do it well, to be able to compete at the very highest levels of the game."