After their miraculous Premier League victory last season, Leicester City were poised for a fight to maintain their finest stars throughout the summer.
With the transfer window now closed, the Foxes can look back on their business with great satisfaction. Aside from the departure for N’Golo Kante, for which they reaped a hearty fee, Claudio Ranieri’s men have only served to improve their squad.
However, such an achievement was very nearly threatened by Arsenal’s approach for Jamie Vardy. Thankfully for the champions though, the 29-year-old turned down the offer in what he calls an ‘easy decision’.
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After Vardy’s incredible breakthrough season last year, it was no surprise that the country’s biggest clubs were interested in his signature. Besides, he garnered 24 league goals including a record-breaking run of 11 consecutive games finding the net.
Arsenal soon emerged as the front-runners and with a £20 million bid, forced Leicester into giving up the striker for talks.
Nevertheless, Vardy stayed true to his club and rejected Arsene Wenger’s proposal. It seems, unlike Kante, the 29-year-old was keen to contribute to the next chapter of Leicester’s fairytale.
The majority of the details had been largely unknown though with it even being assumed at one point that Vardy would welcoming accept Arsenal’s offer.
The ex-Fleetwood Town striker has finally shed light on the pre-Euro 2016 affair however and it isn’t an enjoyable read for Arsenal supporters.
Vardy stated: "I was in a hotel room [in Chantilly] for so many hours of every day with nothing to do. You had a lot of time on your hands. “I am not going to beat around the bush – every time I thought about it, and every aspect of it I thought about, both my head and my heart were saying to stay at Leicester, which is why I made my decision to stay.
“There were loads of reasons. You get that much time to think about, every single thing down to the tea lady. You think about what might happen, what might not. Where you could be, where not. Every time I thought about every little thing, though, both head and heart were saying ‘you need to stay’.
"I could see people’s point when they assumed I would go, but, deep down, if you don’t think it’s right for you, you don’t do it. It’s as simple as that.
“In my professional life, it was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, but I haven’t been a professional for that long. It was hard, but it was actually an easy decision to make.”
So while the media may have presented the saga as a conscience conflict for Vardy, it was in fact a no-brainer. Arsenal may have been able to force Leicester’s hand, yet they couldn’t persuade the player himself.
Whether or not Vardy’s decision will prove to be beneficial or not is unknown, but you can’t fault the forward for his Leicester loyalty.
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