Jamie Vardy: Leicester City insert £30m release clause into England striker's contract - reports

The 29-year-old, who has scored 19 goals this season, agreed terms on a new three-and-a-half-year deal this winter

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Premier League leaders Leicester City reportedly inserted a £30m buy-out clause into Jamie Vardy’s new £80,000-a-week contract last month.

The 29-year-old, who has scored 19 goals this season, agreed terms on a new three-and-a-half-year deal after attracting the courtship of Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United over the course of the winter transfer window.

Vardy, who signed from Fleetwood Town for £1m in 2012, is reported by the Times to have the option to leave the King Power Stadium if any suitors match his £30m valuation as the intrepid Foxes continue their unlikely title charge.

Claudio Ranieri’s side, expected to suffer relegation at the start of the campaign, are five points clear at the summit and 11 ahead of fifth-placed West Ham United - with nine matches to play - all but confirming their place in next season’s Champions League.

The report states that Vardy did not insist on the clause being added but it nonetheless guarantees that Leicester could command a sizable fee while the England striker, on the other hand, is assured that he won’t be kept against his will if he elects to leave in future.

Meanwhile, Ranieri has said he cannot wait to continue Leicester’s remarkable title challenge next Monday when relegation threatened Newcastle United visit the East Midlands.

“I don’t like to play Monday,” he said following the 1-0 win at Watford, courtesy of Riyad Mahrez’s second-half winner. “Saturday, Sunday yes, Monday is too long. But Newcastle – fantastic players, strong, quality, it is a difficult match.

“Somebody asked me if we are nervous,” Ranieri added. “Last season must [have been] nervous, now [we] must be happy. They had the bitter taste last season. Now they taste the sweet. It is not so hard. For us this season is to discover and improve, to build the winning mentality. Step by step. Not to be nervous. We are focused and everything could happen.”