Thursday, June 23, 2016

Jamie Vardy rejects Arsenal move and will stay with Leicester City

pic credit: The guardian.
Jamie Vardy has rejected a move to Arsenal and is poised to sign a new four-year contract with Leicester City. The England international has opted to stay with the Midlands club after his goals played a major role in the club’s remarkable Premier League title success of last season and will be rewarded with an improved deal.

Arsenal triggered the release clause in Vardy’s contract at the start of the month and held talks with the England international but the 29-year-old has decided against joining Arsène Wenger’s side in a £22m transfer. Although the news is a blow to Arsenal, Wenger said in a recent interview with Chinese television that he suspected Vardy would remain at the King Power Stadium.





Leicester will be delighted that Vardy has agreed to stay and also hope that his decision to reject the opportunity to join Arsenal can strengthen their chances of holding onto two of their other leading players, N’Golo Kanté and Riyad Mahrez, as they try to keep together the side that were crowned champions last month.

In a statement on their website on Thursday, Leicester confirmed that a deal in principle has been agreed between Vardy’s agent and the club, with the player set to hold talks when he returns from the European Championship finals in France, where he will hope to feature for England in their last-16 game against Iceland on Monday.

“Leicester City have today (Thursday) agreed with the representatives of Jamie Vardy to extend the England international’s contract with the Premier League champions for a further four years,” said the statement.

“Both parties hope that this announcement will end recent speculation regarding Jamie’s future and confirm his long term commitment to Leicester City Football Club.

“Jamie will continue to focus all of his efforts on trying to achieve success with the England team at the European Championships in France. There will be no further comment from either the Club or the player on this matter until the conclusion of the tournament.”

It appears as though Vardy feels that he has unfinished business at Leicester, the club he joined from Fleetwood Town for £1m four years ago, and perhaps harbours a sense of loyalty to his team-mates and Claudio Ranieri, the manager. He scored 24 Premier League goals for Leicester last season and was a cornerstone of their title success.


Vardy’s most recent deal, which increased his wage to around £70,000 a week, was signed in February and runs until 2019. It included the release clause triggered by Arsenal, who had offered him a substantial pay rise. Since then Vardy has won the Premier League title, been named the Football Writers’ Footballer of the Year and scored four times for England, including the equaliser in the 2-1 victory over Wales in Lens last Thursday. His new contract at Leicester is likely to be in the region of £100,000 a week.

At the age of 29, Vardy’s decision to turn down Arsenal almost certainly means he will end his career without playing for one of England’s or Europe’s traditional heavyweight clubs. He will, however, have hero status among Leicester supporters for committing his future to them at a time when many supporters feared losing him.

Arsenal’s failure to land Vardy leaves Wenger exploring other options as he attempts to build a squad capable of winning their first title since 2004. Wenger, whose contract is due to expire at the end of the 2016-17 season, signed Granit Xhaka from Borussia Mönchengladbach last month.

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