EPL Transfer Rumour: Claudio Ranieri confirms Arsenal have triggered Jamie Vardy's release clause
Reports in the English media last night suggested Arsenal have triggered Jamie Vardy’s release clause of £20m, as Arsene Wenger seems to be determined to leave no stone unturned for the upcoming season. Danny Welbeck’s long term injury, and Olivier Giroud’s dip in form in the second half of the season has forced Wenger to consider his options up front.
Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri was asked by Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, if the reports were true, to which he replied:”It’s all true”. The interesting bit from the report in the Italian newspaper, however, is the release clause. Gazzetta believes Vardy has a release clause of around £30m, which is £10m more than what is being reported in the English media.
Several Premier League sides are interested in signing the Leicester City hero, but the Gunners are said to be in pole position. The North London club will now be hoping to convince the England international to join them, but must do so quickly.
The Mirror also reckons Arsenal are hopeful of completing a deal this weekend itself for Vardy, as they look to beat Liverpool to his signature.
It is reported Liverpool have also offered Vardy a £140,000 a week contract, but the release clause in his contract can only be activated by a club playing in the Champions League, although the Liverpool Echo have rubbished such reports claiming the 29-year-old isn’t on Jurgen Klopp’s shopping list.
According to The Guardian, Manchester United also explored the possibility of signing Vardy this summer, but have turned their attention towards Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is understood to be their top target.
The Guardian also claim the Foxes still hope to keep Vardy at the club and are willing to offer him a new contract, despite him signing a three-and-a-half-year deal in February.
Leicester City are keen on retaining most of their players, and the England international also shares a close relationship with the Foxes owners and Claudio Ranieri, who now face a daunting task of convincing him to stay beyond summer.
The England international scored 24 league goals for the Premier League champions last season, and could fit in perfectly in Arsenal’s playing style. The 29-year-old signed for Leicester City in a £1m deal from Fleetwood in 2012, and now has a decision to make after four years at the King Power Stadium.
A decision is expected to be made soon, as Vardy is currently preparing for the Euros with the England national team, and would ideally want to sort out his future before the start of the tournament on 10 June.
Early dealings for Arsenal
Arsenal have already completed a big money move for Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka, and it seems the Gunners are determined to do some early business in the transfer market.
Vardy will also provide Giroud some much-needed competition, as Arsene Wenger will also be under some pressure to deliver next season. The Leicester City star will add a new dimension to Arsenal’s attack, with his pace and skill set.
The 29-year-old can also be lethal on counter attacks, that is again something Arsenal have been missing up front, as Welbeck has been absent for most of the games due to injury.
It’s difficult to say if Vardy will be an upgrade over Giroud, but he might very well be player the Gunners need to cross the finishing line. The England international has shown tremendous fighting attitude on the pitch something many will say Giroud doesn’t show too often.
Arsenal players have often been criticized for not showing ruthlessness, and it appears Wenger wants to add some steel to his side by signing the likes of Granit Xhaka and Jamie Vardy.
Vardy is definitely a gamble, as many are suggesting he is a one season wonder, but he is a gamble worth taking. The Gunners have signed some very techinically gifted players in the last few years, but it’s time they had a couple of nasty players in their squad too, and the England international definitely fits the bill.