Villa job is Henry's as verbal deal done

LONDON • Thierry Henry has agreed to be the new manager of English Championship side Aston Villa, according to multiple British media reports yesterday.

The former Arsenal striker, 40, left his role as a Sky Sports pundit earlier this month to focus on his coaching career.

He was part of Belgium manager Roberto Martinez's coaching staff as the team achieved a best-ever third place at the recently concluded World Cup in Russia.

"Over the last four years I have had some extremely rewarding coaching experiences in football. These experiences have only made me more determined to fulfil my long-term ambition to become a football manager," said Henry when he left Sky Sports, according to The Birmingham Mail.

The Frenchman was previously involved in the development of Arsenal's youth teams before joining Martinez in 2016.

The Daily Star said yesterday that Henry is likely to take over from Steve Bruce at Villa, and that he has been in talks with new majority shareholders Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens.

The report by chief football writer David Woods said: "A source who is close to the takeover negotiations told Starsport last night Henry had verbally agreed to be Villa's new boss."

However, Villa will first have to terminate Bruce's contract and finalise a salary package with Henry before he is officially appointed.

"Thierry is a passionate man for football, he lives football. Any role that he takes in football, he will make it succeed," Martinez told talkSport in April.

"He is very intelligent and he has that approachability. Thierry identifies how he can use his own experiences with players and that is going to be a big strength in his coaching."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 25, 2018, with the headline 'Villa job is Henry's as verbal deal done'. Print Edition | Subscribe