Arsenal turned down Leicester's Jamie Vardy last month

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Jamie Vardy looks set to become the latest player to make a big money move to Arsenal after Arsene Wenger agreed to meet the £20million release clause.

The Gunners contacted Leicester on Friday to make their intentions clear and it is understood a three-year deal – with the option for a fourth – worth £120,000-a-week has been placed on the table.

It is now up to Vardy to decide what he wants to do. Leicester have made the 29-year-old a counter offer in a last-ditch attempt to keep him at the King Power Stadium but Arsenal are confident of tying up a deal.


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The prospective transfer has come as a shock to English football. Although Arsenal were in need of a striker, few expected Wenger to invest so much money on a player like Vardy and was instead expected to go for continental hotshot Alvaro Morata.

And, indeed, it appears that even a month ago, Wenger was in the same boat. According to The Mirror, Vardy's advisors offered his services to Arsenal in May only for the Frenchman to reject the chance to bid.

So what changed?

If true, it is a remarkable turnaround from Wenger. It seems implausible that someone as surefooted as the Arsenal manager could change his mind over a player in a matter of weeks.

But there is a chance that he realised the dearth of alternatives currently available on the market. Morata, for example, has been linked but even he, a third-choice striker for Juventus last year, would have cost over £30m.

And Arsenal would have only got the chance to sign the Spain international if Real Madrid agreed a deal to buy him back from Juventus first. As Wenger will tell you, Real Madrid only do their business at the very end of the window and Arsenal can ill afford to wait.

Vardy, on the other hand, is a proven goal scorer in the Premier League and is available for a reasonable price. With such huge money now flooding into the Emirates, a £20m transfer fee is a relatively low-risk deal for the north London club.

One last shot

The Arsenal manager may also be throwing caution to the wind in an all-out effort to win the Premier League title. He has just one year left on his contract and it is widely believed next season could be his last.

Even if Vardy is only good for a season, if he repeats his feat of scoring 24 Premier League goals in the next campaign, he could well be lifting his second trophy in two years and Arsenal's first title in 13 years.

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Theo Walcott
Premier League

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