The Gunners had agreed a £10.6million fee with the German outfit, while personal terms believed to be worth around £100,000 a week have also been hammered out with the player, who has agreed a four-year deal.
However the announcement of the transfer was put on hold last week with the two clubs agreeing to leave it until the end of the campaign before it is made official due to Cologne’s struggles in the Bundesliga.
However, The Sun, has now revealed that Manchester United had attempted to hijack the Gunners’ bid to sign Podolski by offering the 26-year-old a greater chance of picking up silverware given that Arsene Wenger’s side have not lifted a trophy for seven years.
But Podolski, who has 95 caps for Germany, has not been lured to Old Trafford because he wanted to link up with his friend and fellow compatriot Per Mertesacker with the north Londoners, while Wenger’s ability to speak German is also thought to have swayed his decision.
Watford boss Javi Gracia does not think Abdoulaye Doucoure's form will be affected by his omission from France's latest squad.