Why does no one talk about Jamie Vardy anymore? Leicester may have reverted to mediocrity since the madness of 2015/16, but their Red Bull-guzzling striker hasn’t. He scored 20 league goals last season. More than Lukaku. More than Firmino. More than Jesus and Lacazette and Morata. Yet no one seems to have noticed.
No one, that is, except Diego Simeone. According to the Sunday Mirror, the Atletico Madrid manager is planning a “shock move” for the Foxes talisman and has identified him as a replacement for Antoine Griezmann, who looks set to join Barcelona.
It raises the prospect of an Atletico strike force next season consisting of Vardy and Diego Costa – a terrifying concept likely to prompt of exodus an defenders from La Liga as they flee to safer shores with their families and whatever belongings they can carry.
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Vardy, 31, is reportedly rated at £16m (roughly the same value as Morata’s arms) although Leicester would demand “at least £20m”. Ideally they don’t want to sell him at all, but the money men in Hollywood just need one final twist in that Vardy movie.
Wilshere linked with PSG move
Another spunky Englishman, Jack Wilshere, could also be in line for a glamorous move to the continent, with French paper L’Equipe reporting that Paris Saint-Germain are considering signing the Arsenal midfielder.
The 26-year-old will be out of contract in a matter of weeks and, although the Gunners have offered him a new deal, the two sides have not reached an agreement and, anyway, PSG are better than Arsenal.
They’ll be even better than Arsenal, one suspects, if Thierry Henry gets the manager’s job at the Emirates, but he is going to be interviewed for it anyway.
The Mail on Sunday says the Highbury legend will be given the chance to “present his ideas” for the role tomorrow. Those ideas will need to be pretty special if he’s going to stop Mikel Arteta getting the gig, with the former club skipper already receiving a “verbal offer” to replace Arsene Wenger. Hopefully Henry’s pitch will include the phrase “va va voom”.
Everton join Zaha race
Liverpool’s move to sign the Lyon midfielder Nabil Fekir is “99 per cent complete”, according to the Sunday Express, which says the Reds will pay up to £60m for the 24-year-old Frenchman and want to finalise the deal as quickly as possible in case he scores an overhead kick in the World Cup and the price goes up.
Meanwhile, Everton have joined the race to sign Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, who is valued at £60m and is also wanted by Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City (Sun on Sunday). In hindsight, the Toffees should have probably just bought him instead of Yannick Bolasie.
Elsewhere, Marco Silva is expected to be confirmed as the new manager at Goodison Park on Monday (Mail on Sunday), “moneybags” Zenit St Petersburg are monitoring Rafa Benitez’s contract situation at Newcastle and may make an approach for the Spaniard (Newcastle Chronicle) and Marouane Fellaini’s Man Utd career “looks over” after he moved out of his massive house in Cheshire (Sunday People). There is, however, nothing stopping him from buying another massive house in Cheshire.