Jamie Vardy to Arsenal: Arsene Wenger has his say on transfer target as move remains in the balance

Arsenal activated Vardy's release clause but fear he could yet choose to stay at Leicester

Jack de Menezes
Tuesday 07 June 2016 12:03
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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger does not expect to see Jamie Vardy start for England at Euro 2016
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger does not expect to see Jamie Vardy start for England at Euro 2016

Arsene Wenger has spoken about Jamie Vardy for the first time since Arsenal activated the £20m release clause in his Leicester contract, and while he has clearly been impressed enough to sanction the move for the striker, he does not believe he will start for England at the Euro 2016 Championship.

Having already signed midfielder Granit Xhaka in a £30m deal from Borussia Monchengladbach, Arsenal are pressing on with their transfer business and have moved for Vardy, who scored 24 goals in the Premier League last season to fire Leicester to the title.

Vardy has travelled to France with the rest of the England squad after touching down in Chantilly on Monday, leaving his move to Arsenal in limbo given that the Premier League champions have made a last-minute counter-off to try and persuade the 29-year-old to remain at the King Power Stadium.

Arsenal fear that Vardy could decide to reject a move, but when speaking on Bein Sports, Wenger decided not to discuss the details of the potential transfer and instead turned his attentions to what he expects to see from Vardy at the Euros.

“I don't think that Vardy will be a starter,” Wenger said. “He has earned his place in the squad.

“I don't say this because he does not have the quality, but because he doesn't have enough experience at that level to say the whole tournament will depend on Vardy. Will he be there? Certainly.

“Football progresses always. The offence creates a new problem, the defence responds. What has happened in the last 10 years is that the strikers have become quicker and quicker.

“What's happened? The defence have responded by creating quicker and quicker defenders.”

Euro 2016 predictions from The Independent

Arsenal now face an agonising wait in their pursuit of Vardy after England manager Roy Hodgson put a ban on any player representatives attending the team hotel in France in a bid to avoid disruptions to his training camp. The Gunners were hopeful on hearing back from Vardy before he left London Luton Airport with the England squad, but the player’s silence is said to have alarmed then in suggesting that he could choose to remain in Leicester.

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