Pilley: Vardy will stay

Pictures Martin Bostock'Fleetwood Town v Braintree.'Jamie Vardy celebrates scoring Fleetwood's second.
Pictures Martin Bostock'Fleetwood Town v Braintree.'Jamie Vardy celebrates scoring Fleetwood's second.

FLEETWOOD Town have confirmed Jamie Vardy will remain at the club for the rest of the season – whether he is sold or not.

Chairman Andy Pilley says the phone has been “white-hot” with enquiries for the most sought-after striker outside the Football League.

Premier League and Championship clubs, including Blackpool, are jostling to sign the 25-year-old, whose 21st goal of the season helped Town climb to the top of the Conference with a 3-1 home win over Braintree on Tuesday..

It is by no means certain that Fleetwood will sell ahead of next Tuesday’s transfer deadline – but if they do, Vardy will be loaned back for the rest of the campaign to boost the club’s promotion quest.

Pilley said: “Several clubs have actually said they are prepared to loan him back to Fleetwood, so if we do a deal now, that is what will be happening.

Crystal Palace and Southampton are the latest clubs linked with the Yorkshireman, signed from Halifax last August.

“It’s fair to say the phone has been white-hot with enquiries from Premier League and Championship clubs,” added Pilley.

“But no deal is done, and until any deal is done I don’t think it is right to comment on any individual club.”

The speculation isn’t affecting Fleetwood promotion charge, with Micky Mellon’s men unbeaten in the league since mid-October and taking full advantage when longtime leaders Wrexham finally slipped up at Forest Green.

Pilley said: “Going top is a big boost. It is where we want to be, it is where we aspire to be at the end of the season and the challenge now is staying there.

“But that brings a new kind of pressure. We are there to be shot at.

“Every team you play will want to knock us off our perch.

“But we are there for a reason, So far we have been the best team, so we’ve just got to continue that form.”

Pilley also paid tribute to Wrexham for making his club fight so hard to take pole position.

“We have two exceptional teams in the league this year and it will be cruel on whichever one ends up in the play-offs.

“You can only give massive credit to Wrexham because both they and ourselves have more points than (last season’s champions) Crawley had at this stage.”