By Editor Wayne Veysey | Former Evening Standard, Press Association and Goal chief correspondent with 17 years experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this
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Arsenal are hopeful of finalising an agreement for Jamie Vardy worth £47million in the next 24 hours, Football Insider sources understand.
The Gunners have triggered the £22million release clause in the striker’s Leicester contract and are ready to hand him a four-year, £120,000-a-week contract.
An Arsenal recruitment source has told Football Insider that the Gunners are in talks with Leicester over a sensational deal and it could be clinched by the end of this weekend.
Arsene Wenger has made his move after learning that Vardy has a release clause in the £70,000-a-week contract he signed in February.
The agreement is understood to state that the release clause must be triggered by a specific date, which is understood to be 3 June.
The final decision will rest with the England striker, 29, who has to weigh up whether to accept what could be the only chance of his career to move to a Premier League heavyweight.
Arsenal will now hope to tie up the deal within the next few days, mindful of the fact that England manager Roy Hodgson does not want players in his squad involved in transfer talks after they depart to France on Monday for Euro 2016.
Wenger is keen to strengthen an attack that will be deprived of Danny Welbeck for most of next season and with considerable doubts over whether Theo Walcott will be at the club beyond the summer.
Vardy has been targeted on the back of an incredible season in which he scored 24 Premier League goals to lead Leicester to an against-the-odds title.
Leicester have not give up hope of holding on to Vardy. He signed an improved three-and-a-half-year contract in February – albeit with that release clause – and is seen as a key part of their plans.
Vardy has a close relationship with Leicester’s Thai owners as well as manager Claudio Ranieri and the club are keen to keep the title-winning team together for at least another season.
In other Arsenal transfer news, the Gunners are expected to field a £25million offer for one of their star names.