London (AFP) – Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger appears ready to give up his pursuit of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy after saying Sunday he believe the England forward will stay with the Premier League champions.
“Jamie Vardy is, at the moment, at Leicester and from what I know, he will stay at Leicester,” Wenger said in an interview with Chinese TV.
Earlier this month, Arsenal were reported to have triggered a release clause in Vardy’s contract in a move worth around £20 million ($29m, 25.5m euros).
That sparked a counter-offer from Leicester, with the 29-year-old Vardy having signed his most recent contract keeping him at the Midlands club until 2019 in February.
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 established powers.
His club form saw Vardy force his way into England’s squad for the ongoing European Championships in France, where he scored in a 2-1 group-stage win over Wales on Thursday.
Vardy has been repeatedly non-committal about his club future while on England duty and he is not expected to make an announcement until his involvement at Euro 2016 has ended.
When asked ahead of England’s Group B match against Slovakia on Monday, if he had anything to add about his club prospects, Vardy said: “No, nothing at all. I am just here completely focusing on England. That’s all that I want to do at the moment.”
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