From Stocksbridge Park Steels to the Santiago Bernabéu: Could Real Madrid swoop for Jamie Vardy?

Jamie Vardy at Stocksbridge
Jamie Vardy at Stocksbridge
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He made his name at Stocksbridge Park Steels, before going on to out-score the likes of Sergio Aguero, Alexis Sánchez and Diego Costa in the Premier League.

Now, Sheffield's Jamie Vardy is being looked at by European giants Real Madrid, according to reports in Spain!

The speculation was initally dismissed by Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri, who has taken the Foxes to fifth in the Premier League - just three points behind leaders Manchester City.

But, speaking before Leicester's Capital One Cup exit at the hands of Hull City on Tuesday evening, Ranieri said: "It is important Jamie enjoys it here but I can also understand if he wants to go to find a great club but it would cost a lot.

"If Real Madrid or some big names want to buy him they have the money to buy him.

"The valuation is made by the owners not me. Not many teams can buy him now.

READ: Danny Hall's column on the rise and rise of England star Jamie Vardy

"But nobody asks [for] him, he is very happy here and we don’t want to sell him – it is clear."

Vardy, now an England international, signed a new three-year contract at the KP Stadium last summer - and may be set for a bumper pay-rise at the end of this campaign to keep him in the Midlands.

Ranieri added: "He is happy with us, he is happy with his contract and that is important - maybe at the end of the season we will offer a new contract."

Vardy, a former Sheffield Wednesday trainee and a boyhood Owls fan, left Steels to join FC Halifax Town, before moving to Fleetwood. Leicester paid around £1m for his services in 2012.

The boyhood Owls fan on England duty

The boyhood Owls fan on England duty