Leicesters Jamie Vardy turned down Arsenal move despite transfer being "done"

Leicester star Jamie Vardy stuck with his heart over his head when he decided to snub a transfer to Arsenal in 2016.

Arsene Wenger was in charge of the Gunners at the time and was desperate to sign the sniping forward.

The Englishman had just led Leicester to a phenomenal Premier League title after scoring 24 times – his best-ever career tally.

It has written his name into King Power Stadium folklore but what happened after might just have cemented his legendary status forever.

Arsenal had finished second that season and there was hope that Wenger could revitalise the Gunners into a title-winning side in his latter years of management.

And he saw Vardy as the ideal man to take them to the next level after his sensational season with the Foxes.

At the age of 29, some scoffed but a transfer was agreed between all parties when Arsenal triggered a £20m release clause in the striker's contract.

Vardy visited the London club's facilities with his wife, Rebekah, and had agreed personal terms with them, as revealed by Arsenal's contract negotiator at the time Dick Law.

“The deal with Leicester was done, the deal with the player was done,” he told The Athletic.

“He came down to visit with his wife Rebekah, he sat on the couch in front of Arsene [Wenger]… and then he backed off.

“On his way back to Leicester I get a call from the player saying he wants to think about it overnight. At that point, you know it’s bad news.”

But Arsenal's bad news was Leicester's good fortune after Vardy admitted that he could not see himself leaving the Midlands anytime soon.

“Every time I thought about it, my heart and head were coming to the same answer, which was to stay,” he said.

“That was exactly what I wanted to do so it’s exactly what I did.

“I had a lot of time while I was sat in a hotel doing nothing, so it was easy to think about it then and easy to put the pen to paper.”

Arsenal have been rueing that missed chance ever since and Vardy has made them pay, scoring 11 times in 13 appearances in total against the Emirates outfit as they prepare to clash again.

The two Premier League outfits are desperate for Champions League football and face off in the early kick-off this weekend.

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