Ranieri fears Vardy exit

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

LON­DON — Le­ices­ter City man­ager Clau­dio Ranieri has con­firmed that Jamie Vardy is yet to make a de­ci­sion re­gard­ing his club fu­ture, but ad­mit­ted that he will be pow­er­less to stop him, as Ar­se­nal have launched a bid to take him to the Emi­rates Sta­dium this sum­mer.

The Gun­ners are will­ing to pay the English striker’s £20m elease clause as Arsene Wenger is look­ing to bring a proven goal-scorer to aid their push for the Pre­mier League ti­tle next sea­son.

The Foxes for­ward is cur­rently with the Three Li­ons squad at Eu­ro­pean Cham­pi­onship fi­nals in France and is ex­pected to make a de­ci­sion fol­low­ing the con­clu­sion of the tour­na­ment.

The Gun­ners launched a bid just be­fore the striker de­parted for the Eu­ros and were ex­pect­ing to com­plete the deal be­fore their open­ing clash against Rus­sia on 11 June, which they drew 1-1.

How­ever, the Eng­land in­ter- na­tional has asked for more time to make his fi­nal de­ci­sion as he is con­sid­er­ing stay­ing with the King Power out­fit af­ter they made a counter-of­fer, which is re­port­edly close to match­ing Ar­se­nal’s of­fer of £120,000-a-week.

Ranieri is keen to hold on to the 24-goal striker, who was named the foot­ball writ­ers’ player of the year, but con­cedes that the fi­nal de­ci­sion is with Vardy as the club is pow­er­less to stop him af­ter Ar­se­nal trig­gered the re­lease clause.

“We want to keep him, Ar­se­nal have said they will pay the full re­lease clause, but he hasn’t ac­cepted yet.

“He gets the last word,” the Ital­ian man­ager said, as quoted by foot­ball-italia.net

The 64-year-old man­ager, whose ap­point­ment at the start of last sea­son was met with a lot of skep­ti­cism, ad­mits that the club’s ini­tial tar­get was sur­vival in the English top-flight.

Ranieri is aware that the Pre­mier League cham­pi­ons will face a much tougher task re­tain­ing the ti­tle, but is hop­ing they can re­main in the mix with the man­ager plan­ning a few ad­di­tions to strengthen the squad.

“At the start of the sea­son, the ob­jec­tive we set with the Pres­i­dent was 40 points.

“I al­ways thought pos­i­tive in my life, but we all re­ally started to think some­thing could hap­pen af­ter the Ar­se­nal game, when we were down to 10 men.”

“I know a very dif­fi­cult Pre­mier League cam­paign awaits us, be­cause what we did can­not be re­peated. I hope to keep all my cham­pi­ons and add a few re­in­force­ments,” the Ital­ian coach

added.

Mean­while, Le­ices­ter de­fender Danny Simp­son is hope­ful that striker Jamie Vardy will re­ject the over­tures of Ar­se­nal and still be at the Pre­mier League cham­pi­ons when the new sea­son kicks off.

“I have spo­ken to Jamie,” Simp­son told the BBC. “Ev­ery­one wants him to stay. We would like ev­ery­one to stay, even if it’s just for one more year.

“It’s his de­ci­sion and he says he wants to con­cen­trate on the Eu­ro­pean Cham­pi­onship.”

Vardy, 29, was the joint sec­ond-high­est scorer in the Pre­mier League last sea­son with 24 goals.

The Le­ices­ter striker was an un­used sub­sti­tute when Eng­land drew their Group B opener against Rus­sia 1-1 on Satur­day but will be hop­ing to play some part against Wales to­day or the team’s fi­nal group game against Slo­vakia on 20 June. — Reuters

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