JAMIE VARDY “backed off” from a move to Arsenal from Leicester after a meeting with Arsene Wenger in 2016.
The Gunners matched the £20million release fee clause inserted in the striker’s Leicester contract at the time and soon opened talks with the hotshot.
Vardy, who had just returned from Euro 2016 with England, scored 24 goals to fire the Foxes to their magical Premier League title win the season previous.
The ex-Fleetwood marksman, now 36, looked set to leave the King Power to join Arsenal only to change his mind late on, and he still remains at the Foxes.
He previously told SunSport: “I’ve always said the brotherhood at Leicester is unbelievable.
“It wasn’t that big a decision, it was quite easy, this is where I wanted to be.”
Dick Law, who was Arsenal’s transfer negotiator at the time, revealed how the deal broke down.
He told The Athletic: “The deal with Leicester was done, the deal with the player was done.
“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.”
Vardy remained at Leicester and is said to have stalled over the move over the next few days and did not announce his intention to stay put until weeks later.
Vardy apparently felt satisfied at Leicester and received a second pay rise in three months to stay before helping the club win the FA Cup in 2021.
He and Rebekah had been married just a few weeks and had recently moved into their Melton Mowbray home which they had restored.
Rebekah was also pregnant with their second child, Finley.
‘ONE OF EUROPE’S TOP STRIKERS’
Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers discussed why he believed his forward had snubbed the Gunners seven years ago.
The Northern Irishman said: “He’s the type of guy who’s proven himself all his life, all his career, and he’s proven himself to be one of the top strikers in Europe. It wouldn’t have been because of that [fear of competition], that he didn’t go to Arsenal.
“There were a number of things: he was probably offered a good deal here, felt comfortable here, stable here, his family. It’s an incredible club. Especially with all the paraphernalia around the Premier League.
“This is a club that’s pure in its community spirit, doesn’t get carried away with all the stuff that the Premier League can bring and he’s the type of guy who will have enjoyed that, being looked after.”
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