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Henry exit speculation mounts

india Updated: Jun 20, 2007 21:40 IST

AFP
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Speculation that Theirry Henry could leave Arsenal this summer has mounted after Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o was quoted as saying his friend would soon be joining him at the Nou Camp.

"He is a great mate of mine and we will play all together," Eto'o was quoted as saying by British newspapers, before playing down suggestions he could be offered to Arsenal in a swap deal for Henry. "There is room for everybody."

Former Arsenal skipper Patrick Vieira meanwhile warned that the London club must splash out on some big name players if they want to keep Henry.

Vieira told BBC Radio, "Thierry wants Arsenal to show they want to stay at the top of English football and European football.

"If they bring in two or three big names it will show they want to compete against the best.

"If that is not the case Thierry will have to ask himself what is the best for him and in the end decide what is best.

"Of course all of Arsenal will hope he will stay at Arsenal but the basic decision he will make himself."

Vieira left Arsenal for Juventus in 2005 before moving on to Inter Milan, with whom he won last year's Italian Serie A title.

The France international believes that manager Arsene Wenger could also be set for a departure from the Gunners following the shock exit of vice-chairman David Dein.

Dein made a sudden departure in April because of "irreconcilable differences" with the rest of the Gunners board, meaning Wenger lost his closest ally at the club.

Vieira believes this could herald Wenger's departure, saying: "I think it would be difficult to stay with what he had done with David Dein.

"Without David Dein I don't think it would be the same for him.

"(Because) they started together and it will be strange for him to stay but you never know."

Wenger last week refused to commit his long-term future to the club, which has failed to win silverware since winning the FA Cup in 2005.

"I've a contract for one more year here and I'll complete that contract," Wenger said. "I've never broken a contract in my entire career and next summer I will sit down with the board and see."