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By ESPN Staff
Jan 6, 2006

Henry says he is staying at Arsenal

LONDON -- Arsenal captain Thierry Henry has ended speculation about his future by pledging to remain with the north London team.

"The truth is I love this club and I have made up my mind to stay," the France striker was quoted as saying in the Sun newspaper.

"I can say to all my fans and the people who care about me, I want to lead the team out in the new stadium (next season). I'll talk to (manager) Arsene Wenger, to (vice-chairman) David Dein and the board and talk of the future.

"My mind is to stay and we have to sort this out."

The 28-year-old Henry's contract ends in 18 months' time and he had previously said that he would not decide whether to sign a new deal until the end of this season, leading to strong links with Spanish champions Barcelona.

"There was a lot of ridiculous speculation," Henry told the Sun. "But the truth is this, I never spoke with or met with a single person from any other club at any time.

"This will put an end to all the stories. We can move on."

There was more good news for Arsenal when Dutch international striker Robin van Persie agreed a new five-year deal with the club.

"I am very happy that I have extended my contract to 2011," the 22-year-old van Persie told the club's website.

"I am very happy too with my team mates and the boss (Wenger). In fact a lot of my progress is down to him and his faith in me."