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Jamie Vardy rejects Saudi Arabia move after interest from Khaleej FC

Jamie Vardy has rejected a move to Saudi Arabia out of hand after several clubs, including Khaleej FC, expressed interest in signing the Leicester City striker. The 36-year-old considers a move to the Gulf state a non-starter for him and his family. Vardy was identified by numerous Saudi Pro League clubs as a potential marquee signing this summer.

Vardy has 12 months remaining on his contract at Leicester, who were relegated to the Championship last season, during which he scored three league goals. It remains to be seen whether he plays a central role under Enzo Maresca, the new Leicester manager.

Leicester have agreed a £8.5m deal with Wolves for the England defender Conor Coady, who spent last season on loan at Everton. Harry Winks is also set to join from Tottenham. The Fulham midfielder Tom Cairney and the Swansea striker Joël Piroe are thought to be on their shortlist of targets but Harvey Barnes, who is wanted by West Ham, is expected to follow James Maddison in leaving.

On Wednesday, Édouard Mendy became the latest high-profile player to depart England for the Saudi top flight. Mendy has joined Al-Ahli, while his former Chelsea teammates N’Golo Kanté and Kalidou Koulibaly have also signed lucrative contracts with Saudi clubs.

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Lionel Messi turned down a move to Saudi Arabia in favour of signing for Inter Miami, while the Tottenham forward Son Heung-min said this month he was uninterested in moving to the kingdom. “Money doesn’t matter to me now, and the pride of playing football, to play in my favourite league, is important,” he said.