Arsenal have received their biggest setback yet in this transfer window, with Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy rejecting a move to the Emirates and agreeing a new four-year deal at the King Power Stadium. The club confirmed the news on their official website, with the striker to officially sign the contract after the ongoing European Championships in France.
The statement read:
“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.
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.”
The Gunners had triggered the player’s £21 million release clause earlier this month, but the Englishman has chosen to stay with the defending champions. He will earn £100,000-per-week as part of this contract extension.
The 29 year-old scored 24 goals in the league last season, as Leicester scripted the most extraordinary sporting story of all time to be crowned champions of England. Along with that, the former Fleetwood Town striker was awarded the Premier League Player of the Year award for a scintillating campaign. The Foxes had barely escaped relegation in the previous season, but did the unthinkable by going all the way last year.
Vardy, along with Riyad Mahrez, was at the centre of everything good at the club, but keeping him away from the so-called “big clubs” was always going to be a huge challenge in the summer. Claudio Ranieri will consider will surely consider this one of his most important feats since arriving last summer.
Arsenal, on the other hand, were looking to add the firepower up front they have so clearly lacked in the last few years. The fact that Vardy chose to ignore their advances and stay at Leicester means that he thinks that he has a better chance of winning silverware at the East Midlands club. While the snub is a bitter blow in itself, the intent behind it raises even more questions of Arsene Wenger’s hunger and the club’s way forward.