Vardy close to signing new Leicester contract

Jamie Vardy (left) scores the second goal for Leicester City.
Jamie Vardy (left) scores the second goal for Leicester City. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Jamie Vardy is set to give Leicester City a huge boost by agreeing to a new 31/2-year contract with the Premier League leaders.

The England striker, who has been in talks with the club since just before Christmas, is on the verge of signing an extended and much-improved deal that reflects his superb form and emergence as an international footballer.

In a development that could not be better timed from Leicester's point of view, with back-to-back games against Manchester City and Arsenal coming up, he will put pen to paper on a lucrative contract that ties him to the club until the summer of 2019.

Vardy, who currently earns £40,000 (S$82,200) a week, has been given a significant salary hike as a reward for his remarkable progress.

The contract offer also provides a measure of Leicester's determination to hold on to their key players, and to make a statement at a time when they have an opportunity to finish in the Premier League's top four and qualify for the Champions League.

While Vardy signed his existing deal only 16 months ago, at that point the 29-year-old had yet to kick a ball in the Premier League, let alone play for his country.

He has since won four England caps and is the Premier League's leading scorer this season, with 16 goals.

Although Leicester were never going to entertain the idea of allowing him to leave during a transfer window in which they had set out to add to their attacking options, Chelsea and Liverpool are among several clubs to have shown an interest in the former Fleetwood Town forward.

Vardy, however, is happy at Leicester, where he enjoys a good relationship with manager Claudio Ranieri and believes there is a chance to achieve something special this season.

The forward has set his sights on trying to write the next chapter in a rags-to-riches story that has captured the imagination to such an extent that it is expected to be turned into a Hollywood movie.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 03, 2016, with the headline 'Vardy close to signing new Leicester contract'. Print Edition | Subscribe