Vardy snubs Arsenal, signs a new four-year deal at Leicester
Jamie Vardy has rejected a move to Arsenal by signing a new four-year deal with Leicester City, the Premier League champions have announced.
Leicester ended speculation about a move to the Emirates after Arsenal triggered the England striker’s release clause shortly before Euro 2016 began earlier this month.
“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,” the club said in a 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.”
The decision is a major blow to Arsenal, who had hoped to wrap up a quick deal for Vardy before he joined up with the England squad.
But the striker then left for France without announcing his decision, and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said at the weekend he expected Vardy to stay with the Foxes. Leicester had countered Arsenal’s bid by offering to double the wages of Vardy, who scored 24 goals in the club’s title-winning campaign.
Vardy was dropped from the starting lineup for England’s first game at the Euros but then came on as a substitute to score a vital equaliser in the win over Wales and started against Slovakia.
“Jamie will continue to focus all of his efforts on trying to achieve success with the England team at the European Championships in France,” Leicester said. “There will be no further comment from either the Club or the player on this matter until the conclusion of the tournament.”
Vardy’s decision leaves Wenger still looking for a new striker in the transfer window, but it is a huge boost to Leicester’s hopes of keeping the core of their squad intact for next season’s title defence and Champions League campaign.
Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante have also been linked with several clubs — including Arsenal — but Leicester’s owners have sent the message that they hope to keep their most prized assets.
The club have already made two additions to their playing staff since their improbable league triumph, bringing in Germany goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler and Spanish defender Luis Hernandez.