It was good news for Leicester City yesterday as they announced that Jamie Vardy had signed a new four-year contract with the club.
It brought an end weeks of speculation that Vardy might leave for Arsenal. The Gunners activated the 29-year-old’s release clause and offered him a deal worth £150,000-per-week.
Arsenal are unquestionably disappointment by the whole situation. However, they are not the only ones who are unimpressed.
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According to the Telegraph, the timing of Leicester’s announcement has upset the England camp, who didn’t want their players involved in any outside matters that could distract them at the European Championship.
Roy Hodgson wanted his players fixated on the tournament in France. And now that England are in the knockout stages, the importance on players’ remaining focussed has increased drastically.
Vardy stressed last week that his attention was solely on helping England but the national team are irritated that Leicester couldn’t wait until after the tournament to announce the deal.
The statement confirms that Vardy was continuing to discuss and decide his future while representing his country, contrasting comments he made last Saturday.
“We’re here for England,” he said. “There is only one thing you want to do and that is to play football to the best of your ability.
“If you let things start distracting you, then you’re not going to be able to do that, which will then jeopardise the team as well.
“So everything gets completely blanked out except for England, England, England.”
Leicester seemed to imply that they were doing England no harm in yesterday’s statement.
“Leicester City have today agreed with the representatives of Jamie Vardy to extend the England international’s contract with the Premier League champions for a further four years,” the announcement read, per the club’s website.
“Both parties hope that this announcement will end recent speculation regarding Jamie’s future and confirm his long-term commitment to Leicester City Football Club.
“Jamie will continue to focus all of his efforts on trying to achieve success with the England team at the European Championships in France. There will be no further comment from either the club or the player on this matter until the conclusion of the tournament.”
Focus turns to Iceland
England and Vardy can now look to Monday’s last-16 clash with Iceland will the whole saga at rest.
According to the Mirror, the former Fleetwood Town striker, who scored in his first tournament game, is in a head-to-head competition with Adam Lallana to play on the wing.
Harry Kane is set to return to the starting line-up in a lone striker role and he will be flanked by Daniel Sturridge and either Lallana or Vardy.