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Vardy: Arsenal links will not distract me on England duty

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 18 Jun 2016

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Jamie Vardy will not worry about speculation linking him to Arsenal while on Euro 2016 duty with England and has not discussed the matter with national team boss Roy Hodgson.

Vardy’s 24 Premier League goals last season sensationally fired Leicester City to a shock title triumph and prompted an offer from Arsenal, which has reportedly triggered a release clause in his contract at the King Power Stadium – understood to be in the region of £20million.

The 29-year-old’s stock continued to rise this week, as he came off the bench at half-time to equalise in England’s 2-1 Group B win over Wales in Lens.

Asked if he had anything to offer with regards to the Arsenal links, Vardy told Saturday’s news conference at England’s Chantilly training base: “Nothing at all.

“I’m just here completely focusing on England and that’s all I want to do at the moment.”

Hodgson may have been prompted to take Vardy aside and focus his state of mind during England’s time in France, but the player himself insists such steps have not been needed.

“There was nothing like that at all, no one-on-one chat or anything,” he said. “That’s how I want to be and how I want to stay focused.

“We’re here to represent England and that’s all I want to think about.”

Vardy is in contention to start against Slovakia in Saint-Etienne, where England will aim to hold on to top spot in the group.

He replaced Harry Kane versus Wales, with a sluggish showing from the first-choice striker suggesting he might be feeling the effects of a gruelling season with Tottenham.

The man who is favourite to replace him does not see it that way.

“He doesn’t seem tired,” Vardy said. “I’m sure it will be the complete opposite – he’ll want to keep starting and hopefully get on that goal run.

“He’ll be putting the extra effort in during training himself to hopefully stay in the starting line-up and get cracking.

“I’d be more than happy to start, it’s up to the boss – he picks the team that he thinks will get the win so we’ll have to wait and see. Hopefully we can get the job done.

“I think it is tough for the boss but having competition for places is good for the squad itself. We have options available and can use different systems.”

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