Reports linking Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy with a £40 million move to either Chelsea or Everton emerged just yesterday – but what would the potential switch mean for all the parties involved?
For Leicester they will not want to lose their top goal scorer for the last two seasons.
The 30-year-old scored 18 goals in his 53 appearances for club and country last term, 10 less than what he achieved in the 2015/16 campaign where Leicester won the Premier League title.
He rejected Arsenal at the tail-end of last season and was rewarded with a wages boost.
The £20 million transfer buyout clause triggered by the Gunners has long been removed, so whether Leicester accept the bids remains another question.
It does not look likely, with Danny Drinkwater handing in a transfer request and Riyad Mahrez looking to force his way out, the Foxes really cannot afford to lose three of their first team players in one sitting.
Vardy is yet to make a statement on whether or not he would favour a move away from the King Power stadium and manager, Craig Shakespeare, will be in no rush to make him feel differently.
However, Chelsea have been manoeuvring their way around the market for quite some time, having already signed striker Álvaro Morata from Real Madrid.
The Premier League Champions’ demand for an accompanying front man may have become greater in recent times.
With the imminent departure of Diego Costa to Atlético Madrid and current backup striker Michy Batshuayi not hitting the heights Antonio Conte hoped he would, Vardy could well be the addition needed.
They are not looking for a regular starter but someone who can provide Morata with competition and feature should injuries persist.
Conte is also looking for English homegrown talent to make sure his Chelsea side reach the quota set by the Premier League.
The Blues are also interested in buying Vardy’s team-mate Danny Drinkwater and Leicester are unlikely to sell both to the London outfit.
Just to add to the complications, Everton have since joined the race to gain Vardy’s elusive signature and, with Romelu Lukaku’s £75 million transfer to Manchester United, they are left with a gaping hole to fill up top.
While visions of Vardy playing off Everton’s dangerman, Wayne Rooney, are enough to make any Toffees fan lick their lips, the hefty £40 million may well be beyond their price range.
Having already spent £127million, manager Ronald Koeman may not have much left in the bank to lure the striker to Goodison Park.
Should Vardy and Leicester City part ways, who can Shakespeare reel in as a replacement?
Lazio’s Ciro Immobile would be the perfect fit and – while it could be an expensive move – it would be a risk worth taking.
The 27-year-old scored 32 goals in 42 appearances for Lazio and Italy last season and led his side to fifth place – a mere two points adrift of a Champions League spot.
Other additions who may be available include Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud and Newcastle’s Ayoze Pérez.