Jamie Vardy signs new deal to stay at Leicester City


Leicester City's Jamie Vardy. (Scott Heppell/AP)

LEICESTER, England — Jamie Vardy agreed to stay with Leicester on Thursday to spearhead their English Premier League title defence and first Champions League campaign.

The central England club announced its top scorer agreed to extend his contract by four years, appearing to end Arsenal’s hopes of signing the striker.

Arsenal activated Vardy’s release clause before the European Championship, and he stayed silent publicly on his future while on England duty in France.

Vardy is yet to sign the new deal but Leicester’s statement was clear that he is committed to the team which produced one of the biggest shocks in soccer history by winning the league for the first time last month.

"Leicester City have today agreed with the representatives of Jamie Vardy to extend the England international’s contract with the Premier League champions for a further four years," Leicester said in a statement.

"Both parties hope that this announcement will end recent speculation regarding Jamie’s future and confirm his long term commitment to Leicester City."

England plays Iceland in the round of 16 on Monday, and Leicester said Vardy won’t comment on club matters until the end of Euro 2016.

The 29-year-old Vardy scored one goal in the group stage at Euro 2016, less than five years after playing outside the four professional leagues in England.

"Jamie will continue to focus all of his efforts on trying to achieve success with the England team at the European Championships in France," Leicester said.

Vardy secured his place in a first tournament squad after spearheading Leicester’s title triumph with 24 goals, including scoring in a Premier League record 11 consecutive matches.

Vardy was voted footballer of the year by the Football Writers’ Association last month. He has also been in talks with movie producer Adrian Butchart about a biopic charting his rise to stardom.

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