Jamie Vardy has rejected Arsenal to sign a new four-year contract with Leicester City.
According to Sky Sports, the Gunners triggered Vardy’s release clause earlier this month and the player discussed the possibility of moving to the Emirates Stadium before flying out to Euro 2016.
Vardy departed for England duty with a massive cloud hanging over his future, although that did not prove a distraction as he scored in last week’s memorable 2-1 victory over neighbours Wales.
But now he has made the decision to stay with the Premier League champions, whose statement stresses that Vardy’s new long-term deal should “end recent speculation” about the player’s fate.
“Leicester City have today agreed with the representatives of Jamie Vardy to extend the England international’s contract with the Premier League champions for a further four years,” reads the statement on Leicester’s official website.
“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.”
Vardy completed his fairytale rise to the top of English football by scoring 24 Premier League goals last season in Leicester’s shock title win – only Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane bagged more.
And he has chosen to enjoy the next chapter of his journey, which includes a first experience of the Champions League, with Leicester rather than Arsenal, to whom this will be a huge blow.
It would have been unfathomable as recently as 12 months ago for a player would choose Leicester over Arsenal, and Vardy’s commitment should help the Foxes hang onto their other star names.
Leicester City transfer plans dashed as bids rejected for two quality targets
Aaron Ramsey transfer: £50m-rated Arsenal midfielder a target for Jose Mourinho
7 relegated players to be given Premier League reprieves; including Arsenal & Liverpool targets