Buy-out rule adds to Henry uncertainty

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The Independent Football

"I cannot say that [Henry will be at Arsenal next season] for certain because, under the new Fifa rules, a player can now move without the permission of any club," said Wenger. "But I must say we're still in September. Our desire and motivation to keep Thierry is 100 per cent strong.

"We want him to be part of our future and to be one of the leading personalities of this club in the next four or five years. I think he wants to stay. But I know that's only me saying it. I'm not pretentious enough to come out for Thierry Henry."

Patrick Vieira, who left for Juventus last summer, warned yesterday that "when you want to keep your best players, you have to bring some new ones". Wenger, who has set a deadline of New Year's Day to agree terms with Henry, responded: "That's not Thierry's opinion, it's Patrick's opinion. I take the responsibility and I believe in the team I have."

Talking about the current Premiership season, Wenger said: "Chelsea have had a bit of a lucky start. They won at Wigan in the last minute and beat us with a miscontrolled ball. I'm not surprised that they have started well. When you have just won the championship and you go into the new season, it goes well for you for a while.

"But the difficulties will come later. When you have lost, it takes you a while to come back. Football is not as predictable as it looks. When you are on a roll, it just goes on. Even when you are not playing well, you win games. But it can change."

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