Leicester City star Jamie Vardy was the subject of much interest from Arsenal in what was one of the transfer sagas of the summer.
Though he claims today (via Sky Sports) that refusing Arsenal’s overtures was a simple process, Jamie Vardy nonetheless spent weeks ruminating over the decision during the midst of England’s Euro 2016 campaign.
Arsenal triggered the 29-year-old’s release clause during that faithful June, and it looked to all and sundry that the former Fleetwood Town striker would move to the world-famous Emirates. Behind the scenes, however, there was only one outcome on Vardy’s mind.
“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, which is why I made my decision to stay,” he revealed.
“Deep down if you don’t think it is the right move for you, you don’t do it. It is as simple as that. 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, both head and heart were saying, ‘You need to stay’.
“In my professional life it was the hardest decision. It was hard but, like I said, when it came to my head and my heart it was an easy decision.”
Spearheading that Arsenal interest was manager Arsene Wenger, whose knack for shadowing targets shone through in Euro 2016 host nation France, where he did TV work for local TV.
“I spoke to him [Wenger] a couple of times in the hotels we were in while we were in France. It was just, ‘Hi, are you all right?’, and walk off to the match.
“It was basically every hotel. I think he was doing French TV for the Euros. It wasn’t awkward, it was just a simple, ‘Hello, are you okay?’ That kind of thing. It was a nice compliment they wanted to buy me. But my head and heart were saying stay.”
Vardy signed a four-year contract extension at the King Power Stadium upon England’s exit from the competition, with the only high-profile departure from Leicester City’s heroic Premier League winning team being midfielder N’Golo Kante, who joined Chelsea.