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Such has been the reluctance of English players to test themselves outside of what in this country is ignorantly perceived as the best league in the world, when one is linked with a move overseas it always stands out in the gossip columns.

When Joe Hart left for Torino last summer it was headline news given that the route from the Premier League to Serie A is so rarely trodden by Englishmen these days.

Indeed, a move to Spain has been a more common one in recent years, with the likes of Steve McManaman, Michael Owen and David Beckham – along with Welshman Gareth Bale – heading for Madrid.

All have ended up at the Bernabeu, however, while the latest Brit abroad rumour has seen Jamie Vardy curiously linked with a move to their cross-city rivals Atletico.

It’s curious because of the timing as much as anything. Rumours of a switch come on the back of a far less impressive campaign from the Leicester City striker, despite ending it in strong form. There’s also the fact that Vardy signed a new contract last year and turned 30 at the start of this.

Jamie Vardy, Leicester striker

There’s little doubt that the England man has been a late bloomer following his humble non-league beginnings but at the same time the fee needed to secure his services would surely be a gamble at this stage, and more so when considering the time it can take to adapt to a new league.

Then there’s the situation with the manager, with Diego Simeone strongly touted to move on from his time not only in Madrid but also LaLiga, if not this summer then next.

The reasoning behind any move for Vardy surely boils down to what Simeone considers valuable traits on the field after all. The Foxes forward, at his best at least, is a constant menace to defenders, particularly off the ball, either harrying them into mistakes or making the sort of movements that they hate to track.

His willingness to run the flanks and certainly in behind was of course pivotal to Leicester’s title success, and one that ultimately earned them the right to face off with Atleti in the Champions League quarter-finals.

When the 30-year-old was linked to Arsenal last year there was understandable caution from those that felt he simply wouldn’t suit a traditional ‘top team'. Atletico, in terms of playing style, wouldn’t fall under that category though.

Leicester famously won the title with figures in terms of possession (44.8%) and pass accuracy (70.5%) that ranked among the lowest in the Premier League and while Atleti aren’t quite so reactive in terms of soaking up pressure and hitting teams on the counter they are masters of it, or at least were.

While Leicester’s title was more surprising in the sense that they were relegation threatened the season previous, it was a feat they managed when the competition – perhaps Spurs aside – were weak.

For Atleti to win it ahead of the dominant duo of Barca and Real was similarly remarkable and while it may seem ludicrous to compare their stories, both have thrived under their underdog status.

Simeone’s side rank ninth in LaLiga for possession this season (49.2 per cent) and ninth for pass accuracy (77 per cent) and recorded similar figures en route to a shock title in 2014.

That year they scored eight goals on the counter attack but have managed just one in the league by comparison this time around. It should come as little surprise that Simeone would want to rediscover that threat.

It's no doubt the main factor behind their interest in Vardy, who has come from relative obscurity to become one of the most feared strikers in the Premier League.

A tally of 12 goals this season may be half that he managed in 2015/16 but he’s scored in 10 of his last 15 appearances for club and country, including a goal that offered Leicester hope against Atleti last month.

Los Rojiblancos may well need reinforcements this summer, and while Antoine Griezmann is heavily linked with a move to England, it’s Fernando Torres’ boots that Vardy would more likely step into.

The 33-year-old is out of contract in the summer but has proven a valuable squad player at times, both in the league and Europe, scoring seven times. It’s that role that Vardy would surely fill, rather than being the main man for a club with genuine designs on Champions League glory.

So the dilemma for the England international of whether or not to risk taking a bit part role may recur after last summer’s interest from Arsenal.

For Leicester, selling Vardy would be a big decision to make. Their success under Craig Shakespeare has proven that the Foxes only really know one way to win, and Vardy’s skill set is so integral to that.

Leicester City, Jamie Vardy

Read more: Leicester can't afford another bad transfer window

With Riyad Mahrez also tipped to be on the move this summer, sanctioning the sales of both would be a huge gamble, and no doubt seen as an admission that their time in the spotlight has passed.

Their ability to strike on the break was vital to their success last season, with a joint Premier League high of five counter attacking goals, but they did identify a man that could cover Vardy’s absence in that regard last summer.

Ahmed Musa’s first season at the King Power Stadium has been underwhelming to say the least but in truth his style was always likely to clash with that of Vardy, who was never likely to be dropped after his heroics in Leicester’s title bid.

The Nigerian has started just seven league games, with the last coming two months ago, and when he has it’s often been from a wide berth.

Ahmed Musa, Leicester striker

His last league goal came in October but since then he’s not had a run in the team, and Musa’s inclusion came at a time when the team was in turmoil and the squad harmony was non existent.

At 24 he has time on his side to be a hit in England yet, but he needs the chance that Vardy’s departure might afford. It would be a massive risk but in Musa Leicester do at least have a pacy alternative that can stretch defences in a similar manner, so a departure from their successful playing style wouldn’t be necessary.

The ball, however, is in the club’s court. It may ultimately boil down to the ambition of the board. They could cash in on a star player, and an ageing one at that, accepting that in the short term they may have to make do with mid-table ‘mediocrity’.

Some perspective is needed though, as such a standing would have been viewed as a resounding success prior to the club’s seemingly impossible achievement.

They have a chance to compete with the likes of Everton for the ‘best of the rest’ title outside the top six but this Leicester side will surely go through some significant changes in the meantime.

Selling Vardy is not a decision that will be taken lightly but with the right recruitment there’s no reason the Foxes can’t rebuild and look to the future. If their iconic striker did fancy a new challenge then he’s certainly earned the right to take it after all.

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