Saturday 16 December 2017

Jamie Vardy reveals just how close he came to joining this summer - and why he chose not to

Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Jamie Vardy has revealed that he was so close to leaving Leicester City for Arsenal this summer that he had started to search for new schools around London.

Vardy was on the brink of leaving in early June when Arsenal triggered his £20m release clause just before Euro 2016. He eventually decided to sign a new improved contract at Leicester City, much to Arsenal’s surprise, keeping him at the King Power Stadium until 2020.

In Vardy’s new autobiography, ‘From Nowhere’, released this week, he confirms how close the move was. “It’s a measure of how seriously we were weighing things up that we looked at new schools for the children,” Vardy writes.

But Vardy admitted concerns about the difference between Arsenal’s possession game and Leicester’s counter-attacking style. “They don’t get the ball forward quickly in the same way that Leicester do,” Vardy writes, “for those runs that I like to make in behind the defence.”

Ultimately Vardy decided to sign a new deal at the team who had just won the Premier League. Arsenal were left disappointed. They had been very confident, having been persuaded by Vardy’s camp to trigger the clause, that he was keen to join them. Arsenal saw Vardy as an effective way to replace the injured Danny Welbeck. They did not sign another striker until Lucas Perez, in the final days of the window, having rejected him earlier in the summer.

Independent News Service

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