Arsenal in the Frame for Henrik Swansong

Daily Mail (London), March 20, 2004 | Go to article overview

Arsenal in the Frame for Henrik Swansong


Byline: PETER JARDINE

ARSENAL have been lined up as potential opponents for Henrik Larsson's last night in the Hoops - after cheeky Barcelona asked Celtic for [pounds sterling]450,000.

The Catalan giants, who could land the Swede for free in the summer, are understood to have demanded the fee to play in the 32-year-old striker's farewell match, which is scheduled for late May.

Celtic rejected the demand and Larsson's agent, Rob Jansen, has confirmed that all-conquering Arsenal could face Martin O'Neill's men in the match.

With O'Neill's side due to face Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United on American soil this summer, a visit north from Arsene Wenger's Premiership champions- elect would doubtless be dubbed Henrik's Battle of Britain.

The only stumbling block will be if Arsenal reach the Champions League Final.

Larsson's game has been pencilled in for May 25, the night before the Champions League Final, but the date depends on the Parkhead club's Scottish Cup fortunes.

Should Livingston advance to the Final at Celtic's expense, the match will be brought forward a fortnight.

'We are looking at all the options and we hope to confirm the opponents as soon as possible,' said Jansen.

'Arsenal are one of those who are considering.'

Sportsmail understands Valencia, also linked with Larsson, are available for around [pounds sterling]150,000 and Jansen is anxious to minimise costs f o r the 'benefit' game negotiated in Larsson's last contract extension.

As the Celtic icon heads for the Nou Camp next week, former Barca defender Frank de Boer believes his Old Firm rival would be a major success in the Primera Liga. …

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