Manchester United have received a major boost in their transfer pursuit of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy as Chelsea ruled themselves out of the running.
The England international has recently emerged as a shock target for United manager Jose Mourinho, who wants a backup striker to replace the injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Vardy has been one of the most lethal finishers in the Premier League in recent seasons and could fit in brilliantly at a bigger club, but Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says his side aren’t in for him.
Asked if he was targeting the Foxes forward, Conte responded: ‘No, honestly we didn’t speak about him, but I repeat we are talking about a really good player.
‘For sure Vardy is a really good player and I don’t like to speak about players of other teams, but in this case we are not talking about transfer market.
‘I appreciate a lot this player because he is a really good player, Vardy. He played for the national team and is scoring with regularity in this league and is a good player, but this different — I am talking about him because you ask me and not the transfer market.’
This surely means United are now alone in tracking the 31-year-old, though the Leicester Mercury also reported today that the club were unsure over paying his asking price at the King Power Stadium.
Their report suggested Leicester could be bold and ask for a similar fee to the £75million United paid for Romelu Lukaku last summer, as they have little intention of selling for anything other than crazy money.