Medical booked: Arsenal close in on fourth £20m signing after decision made
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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Jamie Vardy is set to undergo an Arsenal medical on Sunday after telling Leicester he wants to leave, 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.
Vardy is keen to move to Emirates Stadium and complete the transfer before England fly to France on Monday for their Euro 2016 campaign.
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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.
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.
Leicester have now given up hope of holding on to Vardy. He signed an improved three-and-a-half-year contract in February but the release clause makes them powerless even though he has has a close relationship with Leicester’s Thai owners as well as manager Claudio Ranieri.
In other Arsenal transfer news, the Gunners are expected to field a £25million offer for one of their star names.