Jamie Vardy was set to join Arsenal in the 2016 transfer window but ‘backed off’ after meeting Arsene Wenger, according to reports.
The Leicester City striker has enjoyed one of the most remarkable ascents to the top of world football from his days in non-league.
After helping the Foxes pull off a miraculous escape in the 2014/15 season, Vardy netted 24 times to secure the Premier League title and earned himself a spot in England’s Euro 2016 squad.
His buyout clause at the time was a mere £20million, with the Gunners comfortably meeting that valuation and seemingly putting themselves in pole position to get the prolific forward.
The 33-year-old has always insisted he was ’never’ in negotiations over a move to the Emirates, but Arsenal’s former transfer negotiator, Dick Law, has squashed these claims.
“The deal with Leicester was done, the deal with the player was done,” Law told The Athletic. “He came down to visit with his wife Rebekah, he sat on the couch in front of Arsene…and then he backed off.
“On his way back to Leicester I get a call from the player saying he wants to think about it overnight. At that point, you know it’s bad news.”
Vardy has scored a total of 99 Premier League goals for Leicester and is still regarded as one of the most potent strikers in the top flight.
He is not the only big-name player Arsenal have missed out on by inches according to Law, who revealed Juan Mata and Eden Hazard also spoke to the club before moving to Chelsea in 2011 and 2012 respectively.