Gala sporting director Levent Nazifoglu said this month that reported interested from Chinese Super League club Beijing Guoan had come to nothing.
LUKAS PODOLSKI??? Galatasaray 6-2 24Erzincan— Galatasaray SK (@GalatasaraySK) January 24, 2017
Subsequent speculation suggested Podolski had turned down the CSL in favour of a move to Japan's J-League, claims which were confirmed by Nazifoglu to Beyaz TV in quotes reported on Tuesday.
And, with Gala hosting their fourth-tier opponents, Podolski went goal crazy - perhaps a parting gift to the club who signed him from Arsenal in 2015.
Podolski netted twice in the opening 10 minutes and, after the visitors levelled, Garry Rodrigues restored Gala's lead before half-time.
But the second period belonged to the former Germany international - the third highest goalscorer and cap holder for his country.
The forward completed his hat-trick in the 50th minute and added two more in the next quarter of an hour before being replaced in the closing stages.