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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Leicester agreed a deal to sell Jamie Vardy to Sheffield Wednesday six months ago for just £5million, Football Insider sources understand.
Ex-Leicester boss Nigel Pearson had sanctioned the departure of the Premier League sensation but Wednesday’s new Thai owners pulled the plug at the last minute.
A source close to the situation has told Football Insider that Sheffield-born Vardy wanted to return to the area and the transfer had been all set to be completed.
Pearson was not convinced by the calibre of Vardy, who has gone on to take the Premier League by storm this season and top the scoring charts with 18 goals.
The 29-year-old scored twice, the first of which was a goal-of-the-season contender, as Leicester defeated Liverpool 2-0 on Tuesday night to stay three points clear at the top and is now on the verge of signing a contract that runs until 2019.
Intriguingly, Leicester assistant manager and highly-rated talent spotter Steve Walsh, who is now part of Claudio Ranieri’s backroom staff, wanted Vardy to stay last summer but Pearson agreed to offload the forward for £5million.
However, new Thai chief Dejphon Chansiri, who bought Wednesday last season from previous owner Milan Mandaric, was not convinced even though ex-manager Stuart Gray told him that Vardy was a special player.
Vardy has gone on to prove Gray and Walsh correct by spearheading Leicester’s against-the-odds climb to the Premier League summit.
The England international wrote his name into the history books by scoring in 11 consecutive Premier League games for the east Midlands club earlier this season and has been one of the outstanding players in the top flight.