By Harry Sykes
The son of Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke wants Thierry Henry to replace Arsene Wenger as the club’s next manager, according to a report.
The Telegraph claim that the increasingly influential Josh Kroenke has thrown his weight behind Arsenal’s all-time leading goalscorer to succeed Wenger if he leaves in the summer.
The long-standing manager, 67, has admitted that his future is up in the air amid growing discord at the club, which reached record levels when he axed star man Alexis Sanchez from the starting XI for Saturday’s 3-1 Premier League defeat at Liverpool.
Henry has never managed although he is currently working as assistant to Belgium manager Roberto Martinez and will pass his Uefa Pro Licence in time for the start of next season.
The Telegraph report that Kroenke junior, who is the heir to the fortune of his billionaire father, known as ‘Silent Stan’, has got close to Henry and they have had lengthy discussions about “a range of subjects”.
He will “make sure” the former striker is among the contenders to replace Wenger if Arsenal are required to make a dugout change at the end of the season.
The Kroenke camp believe the 39-year-old Gunners legend, who currently combines his part-time national team post with a high profile punditry post at Sky Sports, could follow the same route as Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid and Pep Guardiola at Barcelona, who took over at two of the world’s biggest clubs without ever having managed a senior team.
Henry worked at Arsenal last season coaching the youth players as part of gaining his Uefa A licence and was offered a job with the club’s Under-18s until Wenger decided he could not combine the role with his work at Sky.
Arsenal’s manager of the last 20-and-a-half years is contracted to the club until the summer and has yet to commit to an extension.
Wenger’s side are next in action on Tuesday night when they will attempt to overturn a 5-1 first-leg deficit in their round of 16 Champions League tie against Bayern Munich.
In other Arsenal news, Mike Ashley is plotting a sensational £30million bid.