Arsenal have activated the release clause for Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, according to reports.
The 29-year-old forward – currently on international duty with England ahead of Euro 2016 – fired 27 goals for the Foxes in all competitions in 2015/16.
The Premier League champions may have no choice but to allow their star striker to open talks with the north Londoners – with the figure being reported around £20m-£22m.
Liverpool are said to be willing to pay the former non-league man higher wages, but they cannot offer Champions League football.
Former Leicester and England striker Gary Lineker wants Vardy to stay at the King Power Stadium with Claudio Ranieri’s side.
In response to broadcaster Piers Morgan, who wrote on Twitter “Come on @vardy7 – let’s do this”, Lineker challenged Vardy to turn down the advances from north London.
He wrote: “Stay with the Champions @vardy7 don’t join the perennial also-rans.”
Leicester signed Vardy from Fleetwood – then non-league – in 2012 and he previously played for FC Halifax and Stocksbridge Park Steels.
Last season, Ranieri’s men were 5,000-1 shots to win the league at the beginning of the campaign but defied those odds to finish an astonishing 10 points clear of second-placed Arsenal.