GERMAN World Cup star Lukas Podolski has been axed from Inter Milan’s squad for this month’s Europa League last 32 double-header against Celtic.
Boss Roberto Mancini has left the on-loan Arsenal winger out of his squad and added Xherdan Shaqiri, the Swiss ace signed from Bayern Munich in the transfer window.
Podolski’s omission will come as a massive blow for the player who had already admitted he was looking forward to the challenge of Europe and performing at Parkhead.
The 29-year-old criticised Gunners boss Arsene Wenger for the lack of first team opportunities when he agreed a six-month deal with the San Siro giants.
Podolski said at the time: “Of course, I am not happy with the situation right now. I can’t be satisfied with that.”
Mancini offered him a short-term route out of the London club, but the Polish-born attacker has failed to impress, playing six games without a goal.
Defender Davide Santon, who has returned to the club on loan from Newcastle, qualified as an ‘A’ selection – of which the club must include a set number – meaning Mancini was allowed to add just one of his other new signings.
Podolski is the player who will miss on the Euro ties against Ronny Deila’s side at Parkhead on February 19 and at the San Siro a week later.
Pablo Osvaldo, who was involved in a recent onfield spat with team-mate Mauro Icardi and missed two days of training without consent, is also absent.
The squad: Handanovic, Jonathan, Juan Jesus, Andreolli, Palacio, Icardi, Kovacic, Guarin, Campagnaro, Vidic, Kuzmanovic, Medel, Obi, Santon, Dodo, Ranocchia, Sciacca, Puscas, Carrizo, D’Ambrosio, Berni, Donkor, Nagatomo, Hernanes, Shaqiri, Baldini, Dimarco, Koffi Yao, Costa, Palazzi and Bonazzoli.