Football: Cologne eager to keep Galatasaray-target Podolski

DVBP150 4 S 0342 DEU /AFP-VI02 Fbl-Euro-2012-GER-TUR-Cologne-Galatasaray-Podolski Football: Cologne eager to keep Galatasaray-target Podolski BERLIN, Aug 21, 2011 (AFP) - Cologne's director of sport Volker Finke on Sunday denied reports Germany striker Lukas Podolski is set to quit the Bundesliga's bottom club to join Turkish giants Galatasaray. The 26-year-old is under contract with Cologne until June 2013 and with the transfer window set to close on September 1, Turkish news channel NTV's website has reported the German is on the verge of signing for Galatasaray. Podolski missed Cologne's 1-1 draw with Kaiserslautern on Saturday night with a fever during the third weekend of the new German league season, but Finke said he is not prepared to let Podolski go. "We want to keep Lukas Podolski, no ifs, no buts," said Finke after training on Sunday. "There is neither the interest (to let him go), nor an opportunity for talks. "Three or four days I had a call from an alleged negotiator. "The conversation was very short." Cologne's Norwegian coach Stale Solbakken has said he has "heard nothing" about a Galatasaray transfer from Podolski. "I talk with Lukas on the phone twice a week and we have not talked about this issue," he said, with his side bottom of the league with one point from three games. In an interview with Cologne newspaper Express, Solbakken added: "I'm 100 percent sure that Lukas will not go to a club like Galatasaray, he is playing for a big club (here)." Podolski is struggling to keep his place in the Germany team with Joachim Loew's side on the verge of qualifying for next year's Euro 2012 to be hosted by Poland and the Ukraine. The attacking midfielder was substituted during Germany's 3-2 friendly win over Brazil and his replacement Andre Schuerrle of Leverkusen scored Germany's third goal. With 90 caps and 42 goals for his country, Podolski made his debut for Germany under coach Rudi Voeller in December 2004 in a 3-1 win over Thailand. ryj/pi AFP 211113 GMT AUG 11