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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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Pires won't be making Arsenal return

Robert Pires has played down speculation that he could follow Thierry Henry in re-signing for Arsenal.

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Henry, 35, has rejoined Arsenal on a two-month loan deal from New York Red Bulls and he marked his second Gunners debut with the winning goal against Leeds in the FA Cup.

Arsenal's Premier League rivals Manchester United have also turned to a former player in the shape of Paul Scholes, with the midfielder coming out of retirement to play in his side's FA Cup win over City last weekend.

Pires' announcement on his Twitter account on Tuesday that he is currently training with Arsenal sparked suggestions he could be set for a return, but the Frenchman, 38, has cooled the talk.

Of the prospect, he told L'Equipe: "No, that is for sure. It is absolutely not my intention nor the one of Arsene, who is already 'full' in the midfield.

"What is nice with English clubs is the fact they have respect for former players. What happened with Henry, or Scholes at Manchester United, has not surprised me. The beautiful story between the Gunners and Henry is going on. Not mine."

Pires, who is currently seeking a club after leaving Aston Villa last May, added: "I am waiting for propositions from Asia. Nowadays the new destination is China. I am on the negotiation level.

"I have also first contact in India. That is cool. That would be a nice destination on every level. I am waiting to see what could happen with China later in January. As its league will resume soon, it should not last too long. If I have nothing else at that moment, I will stop."


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