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Last Updated: Friday, 19 May 2006, 13:49 GMT 14:49 UK
Henry to stay a Gunner until 2010
Thierry Henry
Henry will lead Arsenal in their new stadium next season
Thierry Henry has ended months of speculation about his future by signing a new four-year contract with Arsenal.

The 28-year-old had a year left on his previous deal and had been linked with a move to Barcelona but says he now expects to end his career at Arsenal.

"At one point it crossed my mind to leave," he told a news conference on Friday, two days after Arsenal lost the Champions League final to Barcelona.

"But I think with my heart and my heart told me to stay."

He added: "I've never played in Spain and never will. This is my last contract.

"This is the best country to play football. It's the passion I like. Here you can do your job in the right way - people here respect the players."

Henry said Arsenal's performance in the 2-1 defeat to Barcelona had been key to his decision to commit his future to the club.

It is basically an insurance for the future
Arsene Wenger on Henry's decision

"We can be so proud of what we did," he said.

"The game reassured me of one thing I wanted to know - how far I can go with that team. They showed me they are a team with heart and lots of quality.

"In the past year the fans have been more than amazing and after the way we lost on Wednesday, I couldn't let them down.

"It was another thing to add and a positive thing to make me stay."

Henry joined Arsenal for 10.5m from Juventus in August 1999 and has gone on to become the club's record goalscorer.

He was recently voted Football Writers' Association player of the year for a record third time.

Manager Arsene Wenger expressed his delight that an eventful week for Arsenal had ended on a positive note.

"I had two aims at the start of the week: to win the European Cup and then to make Thierry stay," said Wenger.

"I only managed one of those but, for the future of the club, that's certainly the best one.

"I believe this season has created a special bond inside the team and there is much more to come.

"Wednesday night reinforced that feeling among the players and if you want to continue that progression it would rely on Thierry's decision. It is basically an insurance for the future."

And Wenger said Henry's decision only increased his confidence about Arsenal's future.

"We are the only club in the world with three teenagers at the World Cup - Theo Walcott, Cesc Fabregas and Johan Djourou.

"When they come back, they will be stronger and that will be like three new signings and then over the summer, we will try to sign at least one or two more quality players."



SEE ALSO
Fans' reaction to Henry's loyalty
19 May 06 |  Football
Will Henry stay?
16 May 06 |  Arsenal
Henry won't be rushed into deal
19 Apr 06 |  Arsenal
Henry to decide future by 9 June
31 Mar 06 |  Arsenal
Henry plays down Barcelona talk
18 Mar 06 |  Arsenal
Wenger confident Henry will stay
17 Mar 06 |  Arsenal


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