Arsene Wenger says Arsenal offered Jamie Vardy a lot of money to join in 2016, and he believes the striker would have done well in North London.

Jamie Vardy
Leicester City’s forward Jamie Vardy celebrates after scoring on February 22, 2017. (Photo: JORGE GUERRERO / AFP / Getty Images)

As we all know by now, Arsenal tried to sign Jamie Vardy from Leicester City back in 2016. Arsene Wenger spoke about the move this weekend, when asked about how close they came to a deal.

“I offered him a lot of money at the time,” Wenger told beIN Sports (via Sky Sports).

“Leicester had just won the championship at the time in 2016, and they absolutely did not want to lose him and offered him a longer contract with approximately the same money if not more.”

Wenger insisted that Vardy would have been a success at Arsenal despite the differences in playing style between Leicester City and the Gunners at that time.

“It is true we had more of the ball, but I think around the box, the timing of his runs, and the way he finds the space make him what he is,” Wenger continued. “When you see the big strikers, they are on the move in the box when others stand still in the box.

“He has those things. They read the game earlier than others, they anticipate better, they understand quicker than other people what is going on.”

Vardy has previously claimed he never spoke with Arsenal, despite being aware of their interest in him. But Dick Law, the club’s transfer negotiator at the time, specifically confirmed an in-person meeting between the player and Wenger that summer.

The deal with Leicester was reportedly done, it was just a case of whether Vardy would agree to it or not. He stalled after his visit to the Emirates, before deciding against it. That’s just how it goes sometimes.