Belfast Telegraph

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger forced to wait for Jamie Vardy's decision

By Mark Ogden

Arsene Wenger could be faced to wait over a month to learn whether Jamie Vardy will accept the challenge of a £20m move to Arsenal with the Leicester forward answering Roy Hodgson's call to shelve a decision on his club future until after Euro 2016.

Vardy, 29, has spent the last five days mulling over the prospect of a transfer to the Emirates after Arsenal triggered the escape clause in his Leicester contract, but the England striker is torn by the desire to show loyalty to Leicester for plucking him from non-league obscurity in a £1m deal from Fleetwood Town four years ago.

England manager Hodgson has urged his players to focus fully on the Euro 2016 campaign, however, which begins with the Group B opener against Russia in Marseille on Saturday.

And with Vardy flying out to England's Chantilly base with the rest of Hodgson's squad on Monday with his club future unresolved, the player has now made it clear to Hodgson that he will not be distracted by Arsenal's offer while in France.

Despite reluctantly accepting Arsenal's offer in order to honour the clause in Vardy's contract, Leicester's Thai owners are determined to hold onto the player who scored 24 league goals during the club's remarkable title-winning campaign.

Should England progress to the latter stages of Euro 2016, though, Arsenal could be forced to wait until early July for an answer from Vardy - a delay which could disrupt Wenger's summer recruitment plans should the player choose to reject a move.

Manchester United are close to sealing a £30m deal for Villarreal defender Eric Bailly after flying the Ivory Coast international into the city for a medical.

Manchester City are closing in on Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Belfast Telegraph

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