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Last Updated: Sunday, 8 January 2006, 14:06 GMT
Henry pledges to stay at Arsenal
Thierry Henry
Arsenal striker Thierry Henry has insisted he will stay at the club beyond next season.

The French star, 28, was free to leave the club in the summer of 2007 and has been strongly linked with a move to Barcelona at the end of this season.

"The truth is I love this club and I've made my mind up to stay," he told The Sun newspaper.

"I can say to all my fans and the people who care about me I want to lead the team out in the new stadium."

Arsenal will leave Highbury at the end of this season to move to the new multi-million pound Emirates Stadium at Ashburton Grove.

The truth is this, I never spoke with or met with a single person from any other club at any time
Thierry Henry
"I'll talk to (manager) Arsene Wenger, to (vice-chairman) David Dein and the board and talk of the future," he added.

"My mind is to stay and we have to sort this out."

Henry joined Arsenal from Juventus in August 1999 and earlier this season broke Ian Wright's club goalscoring record of 185.

But his contract expires in 18 months' time and he had previously said he would not decide whether to sign a new deal until the end of this season, leading to links with Spanish club Barcelona.

"There was a lot of ridiculous speculation," Henry said. "But the truth is this, I never spoke with or met with a single person from any other club at any time.

"This will put an end to all the stories. We can move on."

However, Henry admitted he was tempted to leave in the wake of fellow Frenchman Patrick Vieira's exit last summer, saying: "I'm still only 28.

"But when I see the fans and the way they talk to me, it helped make my decision."

"They didn't boo me or make life difficult for me on the pitch."

Wenger was delighted that his star man had indicated his desire to stay.

"It's a big boost for the club because you want your big players to stay," he said.

"It's great news for the fans, for the club and for us inside the club. It's a relief and a great answer to people who questioned his commit.

"I had a doubt. I was not always sure that he would decide to stay but I had no doubt about his commitment."

However former Arsenal star Nigel Winterburn believes the Gunners may need to match Henry's aspirations for silverware to ensure the French striker stays at the club.

"What I think he'll be looking at is where can the club improve and where are they moving from the end of the season, forward into Ashburton Grove," Winterburn told BBC Radio Five Live.

"Those are the key questions that he'll want answering and if Arsene Wenger gives him the right answers and the right players come in the summer, then I believe Thierry Henry will sign a new contract.

"When you are talking the sort of money these players are on, whether they rise up by 20,000 or 30,000 or 50,000 isn't really the relevant point for the player.

"I think it's where they are going. Players at that stage of their career are looking to win trophies.


SEE ALSO
Henry shrugs off Barcelona talk
27 Dec 05 |  Arsenal
Wenger warns Barcelona off Henry
22 Dec 05 |  Arsenal


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