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Thursday, November 22, 2012
Thierry Henry to train with Arsenal in December ahead of possible loan return
Arsenal’s all-time leading goalscorer has been told he can keep in shape at their London Colney training base during the MLS off-season.
Goal.com understands that there is a strong possibility that the informal situation could even extend into a second loan spell at the club where Henry enjoys legendary status.
Arsene Wenger wants to strengthen his squad with a new centre-forward in the window January and, as revealed by Goal.com last month, has made Atletico Madrid’s Adrian Lopez his top target.
However, if Arsenal cannot clinch a deal for the Spain international, they are considering turning once again to Henry, who has just completed his third season at New York Red Bulls.
The Londoners will lose Gervinho on Africa Cup of Nations duty in January for up to six weeks and doubt surrounds the future of Theo Walcott, even though progress has been made in his contract negotiations with the club.
Although no talks have taken place at this stage between Henry and Arsenal, he is regarded as a possible temporary solution to the club’s centre-forward problem.
The Frenchman, who turned 35 in August, had a fairytale seven-match return to Emirates Stadium at the start of the year, extending his Arsenal scoring record to 228 goals.
The striker returned to London last week after New York Red Bulls were beaten in the MLS play-offs to end their domestic campaign.
He was principally in the capital to spend time with his family but visited London Colney and was also at Emirates Stadium last Saturday to watch Arsenal beat Tottenham 5-2 in the north London derby.
The Frenchman now plans to go on holiday before coming back to London in December, where he is set to make full use of Arsenal’s training facilities on his return to maintain his fitness.
The former France international capped an excellent season for New York Red Bulls, which yielded 15 goals in 29 games, by being one of the three players nominated for the MLS most valuable player of the year award. Graham Zusi of Sporting Kansas City and the San Jose Earthquakes striker Chris Wondolowski are the other nominees.
Speaking in the summer about the possibility of another stint at Arsenal, Henry said: “I would like to go back to England with Arsenal for sure. “I wasn’t planning to go back to play last season. It was only because Gervinho and (Marouane) Chamakh went to the African Nations Cup.
“I was there to train and they asked me if I wanted to play. Who knows what might happen in the future? I’ve not yet spoken to Arsene about it so I don’t know what capacity I could go back in.”