Arsene Wenger is looking to get his summer transfer business done early and is trying to follow Granit Xhaka's transfer with the capture of Jamie Vardy from Leicester City. The Gunners are said to have triggered the striker's release clause and have initiated contact with the Premier League champions.
According to the Guardian, Arsenal are willing to meet the striker's £20m ($29m) release clause that is available only to clubs in the Champions League and bring him to the Emirates Stadium in the summer. The striker's representatives are said to have sounded out top clubs across Europe regarding his availability despite Vardy signing a new three-and-a-half year deal in February this year.
The 29-year-old striker has spoken about the bond the players shared at Leicester during their title-winning campaign but an offer from one of the Premier League heavyweights is likely to turn the forward's head. Vardy scored 24 goals in 36 Premier League starts last season and Wenger has reportedly sanctioned the move with talks said to have already taken place between the two sides.
Olivier Giroud is Arsenal's only recognised forward at the moment following Danny Welbeck's long-term injury and the French manager has confirmed the need for a striker after admitting that a lack of goals was one of the main reasons for their failed title challenge. The Englishman will offer a different avenue of attack, one that suits the north London club's quick passing style of play.
Vardy's performances for Leicester have seen him become an integral member of the England set up and is currently preparing for the Euros beginning later next week. Wenger was watching the forward during their recent friendly against Portugal, and is keen to get the move wrapped up ahead the team's departure for this summer's tournament following Roy Hodgson's instruction that there will be no transfer talks once they arrive in France.
According to the Mirror, Liverpool are also keen on singing the England international and are willing to offer him a bigger contract than the Gunners. However, the release clause of £20m is only available for clubs in the Champions League, which they failed to achieve this season. It could mean that the Reds will not have an edge in negotiations with Leicester, as they can demand a much higher fee owing to the length of his contract.