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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Olivier Giroud has become the first Arsenal figure to publicly admit that Jamie Vardy has agreed to join the Gunners.
As reported by Football Insider on Saturday, Vardy is set to undergo an Arsenal medical on Sunday after telling Leicester he wants to leave.
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.
Giroud was Arsenal’s top scorer in the recently completed domestic season and he revealed that Vardy’s transfer to Emirates Stadium is imminent.
“I’ve been told that Jamie wants to join us,” Giroud said on television after scoring twice for France on Saturday night, as quoted by French publication Actudirect. “That’s all I can say but, yeah, it’s very good news for us. I think we can be complimentary.
“As I’ve said in the past, I’m happy with competition. We’ve always had fantastic strikers at Arsenal. I want the best for this club.”
The Gunners are in talks with Leicester over a sensational deal that could be clinched by the end of this weekend.
Vardy is keen to move to Emirates Stadium and complete the transfer before England fly to France on Monday for their Euro 2016 campaign.
It will be an incredibly tight turnaround for both the player and Arsenal but all parties are now confident the paperwork can be finalised by Monday at the latest.
Manager 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 rested with the England striker, 29, who had to weigh up whether to accept what could be the only chance of his career to move to a Premier League heavyweight.
It is understood Vardy has given the green light to make a stunning transfer to the north Londoners, who finished one place below Leicester in the recently completed domestic season.
Arsenal are trying to swiftly tie up the deal, 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.
Vardy is set to become only the fourth £20million-plus signing in Arsenal’s history, following Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Granit Xhaka, who joined from Borussia Mochengladbach for £34million last month.
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.
In other Arsenal transfer news, the Gunners are expected to field a £25million offer for one of their star names.