RB Leipzig rejected the chance to sign Jamie Vardy two years ago because the Leicester City striker was deemed “too old”.
Vardy has scored 22 Premier League goals this season, inspiring Leicester to the brink of a stunning title triumph, while his form has also earned him a place in Roy Hodgson’s England plans.
Leipzig coach and sporting director Ralph Rangnick has now revealed that he passed on the opportunity to bring the forward to the second tier of German football in 2014 because of his stance on only recruiting players under the age of 24.
“We desperately wanted to sign Joe Gomez, who later chose Liverpool, and we were flying back from London to Leipzig with his agent,” Rangnick told Sport Bild magazine.
“On the plane, the agent said to me: ‘Mr Rangnick, it’s a crying shame that you are so radical about who you sign and only go for players who are under 24 because I’ve got somebody who would be just perfect for you. I can guarantee he would become a national team player under you, but he’s already 27.’ It was Jamie Vardy.”
Rangnick says he responded: “No, he’s 27 – we’re not doing it.”
Leicester could be crowned champions on Sunday with a win over Manchester United, though Vardy – now 29 – is suspended for the clash at Old Trafford.
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