Arsene Wenger has insisted that he respects Jamie Vardy’s decision to turn down a move to Arsenal and remain with Leicester City.
The 29-year-old saw the release clause in his contract triggered by the Gunners earlier this month, but after weeks of uncertainty, he ended speculation over his future by signing a new four-year deal with the Foxes on Wednesday.
In turn, Wenger will now have to look elsewhere to strengthen his squad ahead of next season, but he evidently holds no grudges over being snubbed by the England international as he wished him well moving forward.
“I think Leicester have made a statement and Vardy will stay. We were on the case and interested, but not more than that,” Wenger told beIN Sports.
“He has decided to stay at Leicester and good luck to him.
“He came late to the game and in fairness Leicester bought him from Fleetwood and he has been successful. He is 29 and he has chosen to stay at Leicester. You have to respect that.”
Vardy scored 24 goals in Leicester’s Premier League title-winning campaign last season, and will now undoubtedly have delighted manager Claudio Ranieri with his decision to stay.
The Italian tactician will now hope others follow suit and commit their future to the Foxes for another year at least, as they look to repeat their magical league season as well as prepare for the Champions League.
Meanwhile, Wenger remained coy on the possibility of moving for N’Golo Kante, who he conceded has attracted interest from a number of clubs, as noted by beIN Sports.
Given the options the Frenchman has available in that area of the squad, whether it’s entirely necessary to bring in another midfielder remains to be seen, but he will be expected to make further signings before the end of the summer transfer market.