Jamie Vardy visited Arsenal and Arsene Wenger in person over a transfer in 2016, despite his claims that he never spoke to the club.
The Athletic report quotes from Dick Law confirming Arsenal did hold talks with Jamie Vardy over a transfer in 2016, despite what the striker claimed afterwards.
After a move away from Leicester City fell through, Vardy said: “I was away with England. No [I never spoke with Arsenal].”
That’s totally inconsistent with what Arsenal’s transfer negotiator at the time now claims.
“The deal with Leicester was done, the deal with the player was done,” Law told The Athletic. “He came down to visit with his wife Rebekah, he sat on the couch in front of Arsene… 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.”
Presumably, Vardy just wanted to maintain the image that he was totally committed to Leicester City. He hoped it would look like Arsenal were showing all the interest in him while he never really gave it any thought.
The reality seems to be that he was actually very close to a transfer. Exactly why he decided against it is anyone’s guess, given the player himself is unlikely to give us a reliable account now.
Was it the right decision?
In personal terms, it’s impossible to say. We can compare the fortunes of the two teams, though.
It’s been a mixed bag for Vardy and Leicester, by comparison to Arsenal. They’ve finished lower in the table in all three complete seasons so far, but look extremely likely to finish higher this campaign. That’s if it ever finishes.
Arsenal have won the only silverware between the two clubs since the potential move. They lifted the FA Cup and the Community Shield in 2017.
Leicester City got one round further than Arsenal in the 2016/17 Champions League, but neither club made it back in for the following three seasons. Arsenal did play Europa League football whilst Leicester had nothing, but it’s not the same.
Essentially, he’d have one extra major trophy in the cabinet, but otherwise, it’s not a huge difference either way. Maybe it would’ve been if he’d joined, but we’ll never know.