Jamie Vardy expected to make Arsenal decision after Euros

Leicester striker will comply with England manager Roy Hodgson’s wish for players to concentrate on tournament

Jamie Vardy is expected to postpone any decision over whether his future lies at Leicester City or Arsenal until after the European Championship, effectively complying with Roy Hodgson's desire for club issues not to distract his players during the tournament.

The England manager has been assured by the striker that his focus is fully on the national team, who start their Euro 2016 campaign against Russia in Marseille on Saturday, as Arsenal wait to discover if he will move to the Emirates stadium.

The London club triggered the £20 million (€25.5 million) release clause in his contract on Friday in the optimistic hope they could complete his transfer over the weekend, only for Vardy to ask for more time before deciding on the move.

The England squad travelled to Chantilly on Monday with no decision as yet set in stone and, although Hodgson never made any specific personal demands on the 29-year-old to reach a resolution, the manager has made clear to all in the squad that the focus should be on England for the foreseeable future.


With that in mind, it is understood Vardy – who had already been granted time off for his wedding, missing the friendly against Australia in the process – has accepted it would be appropriate for him to postpone any formal announcement on his future until after England’s participation at the finals is complete.

The apparent state of limbo poses a dilemma for Arsenal, who must choose whether to wait on an answer from their principal target potentially for another month or to pursue other options in the market. Arsene Wenger is acutely aware that the player could choose to remain with the Premier League champions, or that bids from rival clubs might be encouraged should he perform well at the European Championship.

An alternative target, the Spain forward Alvaro Morata, is expected to move to Chelsea in a deal that could be worth up to £40 million (€51 million). Even in the wake of Arsenal's offer, Leicester have never given up hope of holding on to Vardy.

He signed an improved three-and-a-half-year contract in February – albeit with that release clause written into the deal – and is seen as such a key part of their plans.

Vardy has a close relationship with Leicester's Thai owners as well as Claudio Ranieri, the manager, and there is a collective desire on their part to keep the title-winning team together for one more season at least. Both Riyad Mahrez and N'Golo Kante are expected to attract interest from elsewhere this summer.

To that end, the club could yet offer the forward a fresh contract to remain at the King Power stadium, with new terms aimed at deflecting Arsenal’s interest, after he scored 24 goals as the team claimed the title last month.

Vardy could, however, also be forgiven for thinking last season was as good as it will ever get at Leicester, even if there is the promise of Champions League football to come when the new campaign gets underway in August.

(Guardian service)