Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Jose: Bobby and I Once Tried to Get Henry for Barcelona

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Jose: Bobby and I Once Tried to Get Henry for Barcelona

Article excerpt

JOSE Mourinho has revealed he and Sir Bobby Robson came close to bringing Thierry Henry to Barcelona early in his career.

The Chelsea manager revealed on the day Henry announced his retirement that the France striker came within "an inch" of moving to the Nou Camp from Monaco, but instead went to Juventus in 1999.

"When I was an assistant in Barcelona with Mr (Bobby) Robson in 1996 (we tried to sign him). He was in Monaco and he went to Juventus, we lost him by an inch," Mourinho told TALKSPORT.

"After that he was not on my radar because it was never a possibility to come to my teams. Could you imagine in that moment leaving Arsenal to come to Chelsea? I wouldn't imagine that.

"He's the kind of player that you need forever, especially in the Premier League where he was more than any other place.

"He was okay in Barcelona (he later did join the Catalans) and the (France) national team, but the real Thierry Henry, the player that we are all going to miss forever, is the one that made unbelievable seasons and incredible history in the Premier League."

Meanwhile, his former Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, believes Henry could be the right man to unearth the next great talent. The 37-year-old is to return to England to take up a new role as a media pundit having left the New York Red Bulls after the MLS season finished.

Henry will also work on his coaching badges, which could well involve some sort of link up again with Arsenal, for whom he scored a club record 228 goals.

Wenger signed Henry from Juventus for PS11m in 1999 and converted the player he coached at Monaco from a wide midfielder to one of the most feared strikers on the planet.

While Henry feels he still has so much to learn before he can consider taking on a management position, Wenger believes the Frenchman already possesses one of the most important traits of the job.

"As well as his extraordinary passion for football, he always showed an incredible insight in his judgement of players. …

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