Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy has signed a new contract to keep him at the King Power Stadium until 2019.
The England international and leading scorer in the Premier League has displayed the best form of his career this term and helped Leicester into contention for the title.
Vardy’s deal was due to expire in 2018 but, following reported interest from the likes of Real Madrid in recent months, the 29-year-old has signed fresh terms.
“I’m absolutely delighted to be fighting to achieve something special with this club, as part of this squad,” said Vardy, who set a Premier League record of scoring in 11 consecutive matches in November.
“I’ve never known a spirit like it – from the owners, to the manager and his staff, the players and the fans. I want to be part of it for a long time.
“Leicester City have shown nothing but total faith in me since the day I arrived here three and a half years ago and it’s impossible to measure how much that belief has helped me to improve.
“I’ll forever be grateful for the investment the club has made in me and I’ll spend every day working to repay it.”
Vardy’s 18 goals have helped Leicester to a six-point cushion at the top of the table, with Saturday’s 3-0 win over closest rivals Manchester City seeing Claudio Ranieri’s side recognised as favourites for the crown.
The Italian added: “Jamie is a fighter. He has had an unbelievable journey to get to this point in his career and continues to play every game as if it’s his last.
“I love his spirit, which is a quality I want in my players above all else. He has shown what a fantastic player he is and, more importantly, he is part of a fantastic group.
“I am very happy that he will stay with us for a long time.”
Vardy, who has four England caps, has enjoyed a remarkable rise to prominence, given that he was playing non-League football in 2012.