PARIS - Former France forward Thierry Henry has agreed to become coach of FC Girondins de Bordeaux, broadcaster RMC Sport reported on Wednesday, citing sources close to the Ligue 1 club.
Henry, who enjoyed a stellar club career with Arsenal and Barcelona, had been assistant coach for the Belgian national team. He replaces former Uruguay international Gus Poyet at the helm of the Ligue 1 side. Poyet had been suspended last week for his comments on the club's transfer dealings after the sale of striker Gaetan Laborde to Montpellier.
RMC Sport said the club's prospective new American owners, who agreed to buy Bordeaux from M6 at the end of July, still needed to validate the agreement. 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.
On Tuesday former Arsenal coach, Arsene Wenger, said Henry was interested in taking over at Bordeaux. "Yes, he (Henry) wants to do it, he is intelligent and he has the qualities," Wenger, who is on an extended holiday in Corsica, told local newspaper Corse Matin. The existential question that we always ask ourselves is whether we are ready to sacrifice our life for the coaching profession."
Wenger ended his 22-year tenure at Arsenal in May. Henry, who played under Wenger at the North London club, became assistant manager of World Cup semi-finalists Belgium in 2016. 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.
1/3 Over the last 4 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. pic.twitter.com/NOQZzuif4m— Thierry Henry (@ThierryHenry) July 16, 2018
2/3 It is with sadness, therefore, that I have decided that I must leave @SkySports to enable me to spend more time on the pitch and concentrate on my journey to achieving that goal. pic.twitter.com/EdC4s8AMaW— Thierry Henry (@ThierryHenry) July 16, 2018