By now, you're aware that Jamie Vardy is weighing Arsenal's offer to leave Leicester City for the London club next season, not making the decision prior to Team England leaving for France to compete in the 2016 Euros. We've already published one opinion about what Arsenal should do, but since we have a range of opinions on this matter, we decided this was perfect Wednesday Roundtable fodder. So, we debate the following:
"If you were deciding for Arsenal, would you wait patiently for Vardy to decide on where he wants to go, rescind the offer, or take some other action?"
I would rescind the offer. And I don't mean that in a snobbish, Arsenal-are-the-best-choice-for-you way; Vardy currently plays for the league champions, who are reportedly prepared to probably double his salary (which is more than Arsenal are offering, if reports are to be believed) to keep him. I mean that Arsenal should refuse to play the "Jamie Vardy is playing for a huge contract" game. Vardy was originally going to choose between Arsenal and Leicester this week, but then somebody, whose job title probably rhymes with "schmagent", more than likely bent his ear and convinced him that if he has a great European Championships, he'll cash in even more than he could this week. And that's fine! Good for Jamie Vardy! I will always land on the side of players making as much as they can in their short careers. I just don't think he was the best answer for Arsenal, and I think at this point, early in the transfer season, Arsenal can say "well, Jamie, we made you a great offer, but you chose to wait, so that offer is now off the table. Best of luck in your future endeavors." and move on to their next target.
Arsenal should keep the offer on the table, but should spend the time between now and whenever England are done at Euro 2016 actively pursuing other striker options. If at that point he decides wants to come, then Arsenal can decide whether they want him or not based on what happens in the intervening time. But now Vardy is the fall-back plan, rather than the first choice – which is honestly probably the position he and Arsenal should have been in to begin with – and we have two weeks or so (sorry, England fans) to look for someone better. It’s honestly not that bad a place to be, all things considered, as long as we don’t just sit twiddling our thumbs waiting for Vardy.
I agree with Thomas's view, except to amend "actively pursuing" with "very." There's a certain Mario Götze who Bayern Munich doesn't want, who's going to have a better Euros than Vardy, who would be a better fit in our offense and a better replacement for Hurt Welbeck. Assuming that Mkhitaryan will happen (and that's a big assumption at the moment), there's likely room for just one more attacking player in the summer harvest; that doesn't necessarily need to be Vardy. In fact, someone who could play both central forward and on the wing might be best for Arsenal. Obviously, Vardy's appeal lies partially in his homegrown status, and getting him on the squad wouldn't be the worst move we've ever made (see: Squillaci), but it's not the make-or-break pickup for a successful next season. Vardy does one thing well—or at least, he did that one thing well last season. But I'd prefer to have a choice that's not Vardy, and then choose between those.
There is no reason to retract the offer. Jamie Vardy at £20m is a fairly reasonable and relatively cheap/easy bit of business for a team looking to add in the striker department. For all the negative views of his abilities, whether or not he can repeat last season's rate, if his style of play suits Arsenal and poor off-field behaviour (most prominent his racism) he offers a different look for a team that desperately needs it. Furthermore, it's a deal that can be quickly finalized following Euro which keeps in pattern of a Wenger trying to bolster his team before the big clubs' new managers find their feet. That said, everyone has a budget and while this money should be earmarked, it shouldn't be untouchable. There are more ways to find extra goals than just sign the in name striker. Arsenal clearly have other targets they are exploring that I would not resist signings in other areas of need just because it might jeopardize a move for Vardy. If a winger + defender of quality use up the remainder of Arsenal's warchest, so be it. After all the "decide by Monday" foofahrah, Vardy made the decision to use his Euro performance as either a wedge to improve his negotiation or a delay to judge his opetions. Which is fine; just don't expect Arsenal to leave the porch light on indefinitely.
I'd withdraw the offer immediately. Vardy isn't LeBron James in his prime where every club waited with baited breath for his decision. He's a 29 year old with a track record of one elite season of production at this level, and that's not even touching on his racist comment. This club can, and should, do better and waiting around on his decision could see them miss out on better long-term options. Luciano Vietto, Alexandre Lacazette, Michy Batshuayi and even Vincent Janssen have all been rumored to be available and for decent prices. Olivier Giroud has shown he more than good enough when paired with a backup so acquiring one of these young strikers for the future would check multiple boxes.
I would explore and act on any other realistic quality (or super-quality) options, but keep the Vardy offer open. If I found someone else while he was dithering, I cancel the offer. If I don't, it stays open. This is what I do in Football Manager, anyway (/danago'd).