• Premier League

Wenger 'cautious' on idea of second Henry loan

ESPN staff
December 28, 2012
Thierry Henry was at Arsenal training on Friday © Getty Images

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has maintained that he has not spoken to Thierry Henry about a third spell at the Gunners, as the Frenchman continues to train with the club's squad.

With Gervinho absent for the African Nations Cup next month Wenger will be short of a forward, and Henry has been persistently linked as a likely short-term replacement.

Earlier this week the Gunners boss played down reports linking him with a second loan move for Arsenal's record goalscorer during the offseason in Major League Soccer, where he plays for the New York Red Bulls.

But Wenger on Friday denied he had shut the door completely on a temporary move for the 35-year-old, who scored twice - both match-winners - in seven games during a loan spell at the Emirates Stadium last term.

"I've not lost interest in him," said Wenger, who has allowed Henry to train with Arsenal for the last month. "I've not completely (ruled it out). But I haven't spoken about it with him at all.

"He's still coming today to practice with us. We are very close (personally), but at the moment I think he has had a second spell at the club that was very successful. You have to be cautious that it's not one time too many."

Rather than concentrate on signing new strikers, Wenger's top priority remains keeping one of his current crop - Theo Walcott - at Arsenal.

Walcott turned down a new contract last summer and will be free to leave the Emirates at the end of the season should he not extend his deal.

Wenger has played the England international in his preferred striker position for the last two games, perhaps in a bid to help persuade him to stay, and the Gunners boss remains hopeful he will not lose the player in the summer.

"Yes (talks are ongoing) and yes (I remain optimistic he will sign)," Wenger said.

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