As­ton Villa eyes Henry

Post - - SPORT - DO­MINIC KING pic­tured,

THIERRY Henry, is set to be the new man­ager of As­ton Villa and his first “sign­ing” will be John Terry.

Terry, who yes­ter­day con­firmed his re­tire­ment as a player, is the favourite to re­turn to Villa Park as Henry’s No 2 in a dream line-up for the club’s hi­er­ar­chy.

It is be­lieved both were in­ter­viewed for the post as man­ager but Henry’s greater ex­pe­ri­ence got him the nod. The pair has been told they are ex­pected to win pro­mo­tion to the Premier League “sooner rather than later”.

Henry, Bel­gium’s as­sis­tant coach un­der Roberto Martinez, made it clear he wanted the top role dur­ing talks with the As­ton Villa own­ers Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens. Sawiris was par­tic­u­larly in­stru­men­tal in driv­ing the pur­suit of Henry, who quit his £4 mil­lion-a-year (R77.6m) role with Sky in the sum­mer to con­cen­trate on be­com­ing a man­ager.

He re­jected an ap­proach from Bordeaux last month.

Former Chelsea skip­per Terry was said to be hum­ble in con­ver­sa­tions with the Villa board and was also be­lieved to be con­cerned about step­ping into the shoes of Steve Bruce, who took him to Villa Park as a player last sea­son. He de­scribed Bruce as “a great man”.

But the former Eng­land cap­tain, who made 32 league ap­pear­ances for Villa, is now ready to fol­low Frank Lam­pard and Steven Ger­rard by mov­ing into the dugout.

In a state­ment yes­ter­day, he said: “Af­ter 23 in­cred­i­ble years as a foot­baller, I have de­cided now is the right time to re­tire from play­ing.

“As a 14-year-old, I made my best and big­gest de­ci­sion: to sign for Chelsea Foot­ball Club. Words will never be enough to show how much ev­ery­one at the club means to me, par­tic­u­larly the fans.

“And I also want to say a huge thank you to As­ton Villa for giv­ing me the op­por­tu­nity to play at such a big club and cap­tain it through­out the 2017/18 sea­son. It was a priv­i­lege to rep­re­sent such a renowned club with great fans.

“I look for­ward to the next chap­ter and the chal­lenges ahead,” he said. – Daily Mail/African news Agency (ANA)

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