French football legend agrees to coach Bordeaux

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Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry is edging closer to securing a first managerial position after holding talks with Bordeaux, with the former Arsenal striker and current Belgium assistant manager understood to be enthusiastic at the prospect of working at the Ligue 1 club.

Bordeaux, who play Gent in the Europa League qualifying play-offs on Thursday but have been beaten in their two top-flight games this season, sacked Gus Poyet last week after the Uruguayan branded the sale of his forward Gaëtan Laborde without his knowledge “a disgrace”. Poyet was initially suspended then was dismissed after a brief meeting with club officials last Friday.

There was initial interest in the former Lyon and Aston Villa manager Rémi Garde, who is working in Major League Soccer at Montreal Impact, and the former France manager Laurent Blanc, who has since distanced himself from the role.

Yet Henry, who has worked under Roberto Martínez with Belgium for two years and helped guide them to the nation’s best finish of third at the World Cup this summer, emerged as favourite for the position this week and has apparently made clear his desire to take up the reins.

The situation at Bordeaux is complicated with the club in the process of being sold by the M6 Group to the US-based investment fund General American Capital Partners, and any appointment would have to be ratified by outgoing and incoming owners alike.

That could delay the process and, as yet, no formal agreement has been struck. Yet the 41-year-old former Arsenal and Barcelona striker is eager for the opportunity to make his mark from the dugout and hopeful he will be offered his chance.

This week his former manager at Arsenal, Arsène Wenger, endorsed Henry’s candidacy for the role in France.

“Yes, he wants to do it,” Wenger told the Corsican newspaper Corse-Matin.

“He is intelligent and he has the qualities.”

Thierry Henry

Henry, France’s record goalscorer, would join Patrick Vieira as the latest member of the national team’s 1998 World Cup winning squad to manage in the country’s top flight after he joined Nice this season.

Bordeaux has won the French league title six times with the last championship coming in 2009 under the leadership of another 1998 World Cup winner, Laurent Blanc.

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