Thursday 22 February 2018

Henry urges Fabregas to stick with Gunners

Rob Stewart

The biggest transfer saga of the summer took another twist yesterday when Thierry Henry urged former Arsenal colleague Cesc Fabregas to resist the charms of Barcelona and remain at the Emirates.

Henry, who left Arsenal for Barcelona three years ago, wants Fabregas to lead the Londoners' pursuit of the Premier League title rather than return to Barcelona, who have already had a €35m bid for the 23-year-old rejected.

"It is hard because the guy is from Barcelona. I wouldn't like to be in his shoes, that's all I can say," said Henry. "I wouldn't like to be in his position because he is from there and he loves Arsenal.

"I don't want to talk for him. But as an Arsenal fan, for me, I want him to stay at Arsenal."

Henry's stance could be down to his desire to return to Arsenal in the future following his move to New York Red Bulls on a "multi-year deal".

"What I want to do when I retire is, I don't know how, but I want to come back to Arsenal," added the 32-year-old.

"Whatever it is, I want to come back (to Arsenal), maybe as a water boy; I just love this club."

Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger jets out with his Arsenal squad for a 10-day training camp in Austria today, dertermined to mould them into a team capable of winning a first Premier League title since 2004.

The Gunners boss ran the rule over summer signings Laurent Koscielny and Marouane Chamakh during Saturday's opening pre-season friendly at Barnet, where youngster Jay Simpson netted a double in a 4-0 win.

Wenger changed his entire line-up at half-time and used three goalkeepers, even though Manuel Almunia -- whose position as Arsenal number one is by no means secure -- was not available because of illness.

While Fabregas and Robin van Persie will not return until the Emirates Cup begins on July 31, the rest of the Arsenal players who were out in South Africa will be in Austria, where warm-up matches have been arranged against Sturm Graz and Neusiedl. Arsenal will then tackle AC Milan and Celtic in the Emirates Cup, before their final friendly away to Legia Warsaw on August 7 ahead of the trip to Liverpool for their Premier League opener.

Irish Independent

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