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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 May 2006, 13:49 GMT 14:49 UK
Will Henry stay?
By Mandeep Sanghera

Arsenal striker Thierry Henry kisses the Highbury turf during the club's last game at the stadium when they played Wigan
Henry kisses the Highbury turf during the last game at the stadium

Will he won't he? That is the question surrounding the future of Arsenal striker Thierry Henry and whether he will sign a new contract with the club or decide to move on.

Henry insists he will announce the outcome of his deliberations before the start of the World Cup on 9 June.

But, until then, every twitch and squeak from the 28-year-old is being scrutinised in microscopic detail to try to gauge some sort of idea about what he is thinking.

In the final Premiership game of the season, which was also Arsenal's swansong to their Highbury stadium, he knelt down to kiss the pitch.

Some interpreted it as a gesture of delight as he lovingly said goodbye to the historical stadium while others saw it as signalling his imminent exit.

The typically enigmatic Frenchman refused to be drawn on the issue as he prepared for a Champions League final against Barcelona.

You can never reach perfection - I'm trying to do it and that's the only way you can progress and try to get better
Thierry Henry

And, in one of the strange quirks football regularly throws up, it just so happens the Nou Camp outfit are the club cited as his most likely destination.

So, as he prepares to go back to his roots for the Paris showpiece, eyes will be trained on his battle for supremacy against Ronaldinho as keenly as his actions after the match.

The result could have a crucial impact in what may amount to a decision about his future, which may come down to whether he lets his heart rule his head or vice-versa.

If Arsenal are beaten, he faces the awkward choice of staying at Arsenal as manager Arsene Wenger continues to mould his youthful side by adding more of a consistency to their ability.

Or, as is the case with Barcelona, he could leave for a diamond which has already been cut with the additional prospect of linking up with Ronaldinho.

Arsenal striker Thierry Henry and Barcelona star Ronaldinho
Could Henry and Ronaldinho be playing together next season?

Another factor to come into the equation will be that a Champions League winners' medal is the only major honour missing from the Henry trophy cabinet.

A win on Wednesday and the prospect of captaining the club into their new stadium next season could tip the scales in Arsenal's favour.

But after his exploits at Arsenal and the magic he has brought to English football, his team-mate Dennis Bergkamp surmised: "I can say now whatever he does you have to respect him for it because it won't be a decision he has made overnight."

One thing for certain from Henry, who has flourished at Arsenal since joining for 10.5m from Juventus during August 1999, is that he will not settle for second best.

He said: "You can never reach perfection. I'm trying to do it and that's the only way you can progress and try to get better.

"We all know we are not perfect and everyone in the game is going to miss something so trying to reach perfection will keep you on your toes."




WATCH AND LISTEN
News conference: Theirry Henry


Interview: Former France international Marcel Desailly



SEE ALSO
Henry to decide future by 9 June
31 Mar 06 |  Arsenal
Henry delight at Highbury finale
07 May 06 |  Arsenal
Henry collects Premiership award
05 May 06 |  Arsenal
Henry won't be rushed into deal
19 Apr 06 |  Arsenal
Henry plays down Barcelona talk
18 Mar 06 |  Arsenal


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