Arsene Wenger regrets that Jamie Vardy rejected “a lot of money” Arsenal offered to him

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The former manager of Arsenal football club, Arsene Wenger has revealed that he regretted that he was not able to ensure that Jamie Vardy joined Arsenal in 2016. The 71-year-old retired tactician stressed that the North London club offered the 34-year-old Leicester City center-forward “a lot of money” but refused to join the club.

Arsene Wenger coached Arsenal from 1996 to 2018 before he retired from being a football coach. In 2016, the news was everywhere that the Frenchman wanted to bring Jamie Vardy to Arsenal.

At that point, the former England international was not just one of the hottest football stars in the Premier League, he just helped Leicester to win the Premier League title for the first time in the history of the club. Hence, Leicester City did everything possible to ensure that they kept the striker at the club.

After a series of transfer talks between Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger and the representatives of Jamie Vardy, the Leicester City star decided to remain at the Kings Power Stadium. To make matters worst for Arsenal’s ambition, Leicester City offered the striker a long-term contract which he signed.

Arsene Wenger regrets that Jamie Vardy rejected the "a lot of money" Arsenal offered to him
The manager of Leicester City Brendan Rodgers and the club’s talisman Jamie Vardy.

Since then, the former England international has remained one of the most prominent football stars at Leicester and indeed the Premier League. Jamie Vardy has scored a total of 144 goals and provided 57 assists in 333 games in all competitions since he joined Leicester City from Fleetwood Town on July 1, 2012, for just €1.24million.

“I offered him a lot of money at the time,” Arsene Wenger told beIN Sports. “Leicester had just won the championship at the time in 2016, and they absolutely did not want to lose him and offered him a longer contract with approximately the same money if not more…

“He is always in the game. He doesn’t look like he mentally gets out of the game and the great strikers are like that. It means he will score at some stage. Even when he misses a chance he stays in the game.

“We indeed had more of the ball, but I think around the box, the timing of his runs and the way he finds the space make him what he is. When you see the big strikers, they are on the move in the box when others standstill in the box. He has those things.

“They read the game earlier than others, they anticipate better, they understand quicker than other people what is going on.”

Currently, the 34-year-old striker has over two years left on his contract with Leicester City. So far this season, he has scored a total of 14 goals and provided 5 assists in 23 games in all competitions.

As it stands, Jamie Vardy is not looking like a player that would leave Leicester City to another club until he retires from professional football. He was in action against Liverpool on Saturday, February 13 and he scored the second goal in the match that ended 3-1 in favor of Leicester.