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Arsenal summon club legend to hold managerial talks

Arsenal legends Thierry Henry (left) and Robert Pires

Bengaluru, May 18: Arsenal and Barcelona legend Thiery Henry has been asked to meet the clubs chiefs to discuss the Emirates managerial vacancy, but former skipper Mikel Arteta remains favourite for the job.

Gunners legend Henry has been summoned for talks with chief executive Ivan Gazidis and the club hierarchy next week. Even though former Arsenal midfielder Arteta has emerged as the favourite to replace Arsene Wenger, the fact that Henry has been approached suggests there could yet be a twist.

Henry, currently assistant to Belgium boss Roberto Martinez, served briefly as a junior coach but was forced out of the club in 2016. At that time when Wenger said he could not combine his TV punditry role at Sky with a full-time job with the under-18 team.

Forty-year-old Henry, Arsenal’s all-time top scorer with 226 goals from 369 appearances across two spells at the club, has excelled in his role with Martinez’ Red Devils.

He is currently working closely with Martinez to finalise plans ahead of Belgium's World Cup challenge next month.

Arteta remains the likely choice of the Gunners’ high command after his reputation soared working under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.

The Spaniard is ready to make the leap into his first managerial job and will have a broad canvas after Arsenal sacked a raft of Wenger’s backroom staff in the wake of the Frenchman’s departure.

Head of medical Colin Lewin was the highest profile casualty in the cull, which included first team coach Neil Banfield and goalkeeping expert Gerry Peyton.

Former Gunners stars Jens Lehmann and Steve Bould have been offered the chance to stay, with another of Henry’s former team-mates Freddie Ljungberg, set to take charge of the under-23 set-up.

It means there are obvious vacancies that could appeal to Henry although it is believed the French legend would want to be considered for the top job.

Bould is understood to still be considering his options, waiting to see who comes in as new manager before deciding whether to remain in place in the post-Wenger era.

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    Story first published: Friday, May 18, 2018, 10:29 [IST]
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