Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that the club “offered a lot of money” to sign Jamie Vardy in 2016.
However, Vardy ultimately decided to Snubbed Arsenal’s offer instead chose to stay with Leicester City.
The English striker became one of England’s most sought-after player after he fired the Foxes for the Premier League title. One of his admirers was Arsenal.
When asked on beIN Sports how close he came to signing Vardy, Wenger said: “But Leicester had just won the championship [Premier League title] in 2016 and Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha [the late Foxes owner] at the time did absolutely not want to lose him.
“Leicester offered him a longer contract and approximately the same amount of money, if not more.”
“I offered him a lot of money!”
Not everyone was convinced that it would have been a successful transfer.
There were claims at the time that Vardy would not have matched Wenger’s style of play, and would have been lost if he had joined the Gunners.
Wenger admitted there was some truth to those claims, but insists that Vardy would still have been devastating in an Arsenal jersey.
Yes, because we had more of the ball than Leicester did,” explained Wenger.
“But I think still around the box the timings of his runs, he finds the space to go. When you see the big strikers they are always on the move when the others standstill in the box, and he has that.
“You see with these strikers, they read the game earlier than others. They anticipate better, they understand quicker than other people what’s going on, and that quality of anticipation and that speed of understanding makes him the player he is.”