Jamie Vardy: England staff have no problem with him using nicotine pouches

By Phil McNultyChief football writer in Chantilly
Jamie Vardy
Vardy was brought on at half-time in England's match against Wales with his side 1-0 down

Jamie Vardy insists England's medical staff are happy for him to use nicotine pouches as part of his preparation for Euro 2016 games.

The striker scored against Wales and could start against Slovakia on Monday.

He was pictured holding a pouch of powdered chewing tobaccoexternal-link - snus - a practice questioned by health experts.

Asked what England's back-up team thought, Vardy, 29, said: "They are fine. There's nothing wrong with them. They are more than happy I'm on them."

The Leicester forward, whose goal helped England beat Wales 2-1 in Lens, added: "The nicotine pouch is not something I need regularly. It's just something I needed at the time."

Vardy also revealed his unconventional match preparations include not going into the gym as part of his fitness regime.

He said: "There is no pressure at all on me to do that here. They are just happy for me to be doing what I do at club football. It has worked for me this season and in previous seasons, so I don't see why I should change it now.

"My diet is not unorthodox. I just eat like anyone else - that's just how I am. Everyone is different. It is just my metabolism that keeps me this slim."

Vardy a sub? 'I can see the logic'

Vardy could start Monday's game after he and Daniel Sturridge scored when they replaced Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane at half-time against Wales, with England trailing 1-0.

And while he hopes to be in the starting XI, he would have no complaints if he was used as an impact substitute once more.

"I'd be more than happy with that," said Vardy. "It's up to the boss. He picks the team he thinks can get the win. We'll have to wait until Monday to see what team he puts out, then hopefully we can get the job done."

Vardy's pace could be a potent weapon late on in a tournament, a tactic he admitted he could see Hodgson employing.

He said: "I can see the logic definitely. When players are getting tired it is probably easier to exploit but I am happy either way.

"It is down to me with what I do in training to hopefully get into the gaffer's mind to maybe get a start. We will see what happens."

Staying at Leicester or off to Arsenal?

Vardy declined to comment on continued transfer speculation prompted by Arsenal activating a £20m release clause in his contract. The Gunners hoped to do a deal before he flew to France but the striker left without making a decision.

Leicester are increasingly confident he will stay, and Vardy revealed his club manager Claudio Ranieri has been in touch during the Euros.

"He messaged me a few days ago and said 'congratulations champ'," said Vardy.

And the stunning manner in which Leicester defied the odds to win the Premier League will inspire Vardy to believe England can do the same in France.

"We know we've got a lot of ability in that squad," he added. "If you go into a tournament thinking that you're not going to do anything, you might as well not be there because you won't achieve anything.

"You've always got to put your sights to the maximum and hopefully keep progressing until you get there."

Surgery after the Euros

Jamie Vardy
Vardy has scored four in his past five appearances for England

As well as finally delivering a decision on the proposed move to Arsenal, Vardy also revealed he needs an operation on the wrist injury that still requires him to wear a cast.

"I still need the cast on," said the striker. "I've got an operation after the tournament. I've got two big cracks in my wrist which need a bone graft after the tournament.

"It will only keep me out for three weeks. I did it playing against Aston Villa at the start of the season - that's how long it's been fractured."

Movie gets green light - and a book as well

Vardy's rise, from Fleetwood Town to Leicester City and a Premier League title within four years, is to be the subject of a film that the striker confirmed is being made.

He said: "It's happening. It's out in 2017 from what I've been told. I think they're just getting all the actors sorted."

And who will play the part of Vardy? "I'm not at liberty to say," he said.

"I'm not sure on the title yet. I've not been able to get on the phone and talk to them. I'm just concentrating on England at the moment."

There will also be a book, with Vardy saying: "I wasn't thinking about doing one. Then I had a chat with my agent and we thought it was a good time to do one, because a lot of people don't know exactly what I've had to go through to get to this position. So it'll be good for everyone to have it out there, from my own views."

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