London - Arsenal are trying to lure England striker Jamie Vardy away from
Premier League champions Leicester City in a move worth around £20
million, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported
Vardy scored 24 league goals as Leicester, 5 000/1 rank
outsiders, were crowned champions of England last season, finishing 10
points in front of second-placed Arsenal, one of the Premier League's
His club form saw Vardy force his way into England's squad for the upcoming European Championship.
Vardy, who is already 29, would mark a major change in Arsenal's
transfer policy under long-serving French manager Arsene Wenger.
the Guardian said "the striker's availability for a relatively modest
fee, and the alternative option that he provides in attack with his
searing pace, has fuelled the manager's interest".
However, it was only in February that Vardy signed an improved three-and-a-half-year contract with Thai-owned Leicester.
Guardian said Leicester could offer Vardy a new deal if they think that
is what it will take to keep him at the Midlands club.
the forward now has a momentous decision to make. As well as being a key
figure on the field, Vardy is also a well-liked member of the Leicester
squad - the players celebrated their title-winning success with a
party at his house.
However, he only became a full-fledged
professional player in 2012, after nine years in non-league football,
and if Arsenal are offering significantly more money than he's getting
at Leicester, Vardy could find it hard to turn down the Gunners.
Arsenal's reported interest in Vardy led to plenty of social media comment.
Piers Morgan, a Gunners fan, tweeted: "Come on @vardy7 - let's do
this", only for former Leicester and England striker Gary Lineker to
urge the forward against a move to the north London club by replying:
"Stay with the Champions @vardy7 don't join the perennial also-rans."
like Vardy, was a leading scorer for Leicester in the English
top-flight. But his goals did not yield a title and he left to join
Everton in 1985.
With the story on the Guardian's website
running well after the close of normal UK business hours on Friday,
there was as yet no response from Leicester, Arsenal or Vardy's
Last month, Vardy indicated he had no desire to
leave Leicester, saying: "We've just won the league and will be playing
in the Champions League next year. I am happy here."
But May also
saw Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri say he would not stand in the way
of any player who wanted to move on, although clearly the Italian would
like to keep his title-winning squad intact.
"If they go away, it
is not good for them. It is much better if they improve another year
here and then go wherever they want," said Ranieri.
"But I have
said so many times if one player comes to me and says 'Gaffer (manager),
I want to go', then I leave him to go because it is okay."