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By ESPN Staff

Henry begins contract talks with Gunners

Captain Thierry Henry has confirmed that initial talks with Arsenal about a new contract have finally started but says there is still much to discuss before he seals a deal which will keep him at the club for the rest of his career.

Henry, who equalled Cliff Bastin's club best of 150 league goals for the club with a hat-trick in Arsenal's 7-0 demolition of Middlesbrough at Highbury today, revealed that discussions with the board began earlier this week.

The French striker hopes the board and manager Arsene Wenger can match his own footballing aims and refused to put a time limit on the negotiations.

'I have spoken briefly with the board and the manager in the last week,' confirmed Henry. 'But we still have things to discuss.

'I just hope all the discussions I have with the board and with the manager show the club can match my sporting ambitions.

'I see a lot of people talking about money and saying what we can afford, whatever - that is not my main concern.

'I came into the sport to play football and enjoy it, that is my main concern. When I talk about sporting ambition, I mean my future in the game - nothing to do with money.

'I guess signing new players comes into it but that's nothing to do with me. I'm here to play football and you have other people who have to do what they have to do.

'So there is still a lot to do. When I say the ball is in the board's court, I don't mean it in a bad way, I just mean I have said what my feelings are and we will see.

'I know people will still ask questions right up until I sign the contract but I wanted to make it clear from my side.

'Whether the deal will be signed in the next few days, weeks, months, I really don't know - it depends how it goes.'

Henry admitted he hasn't had the chance to talk to the rest of the squad about his decision to stay at the club but fully expects them to quiz him over his future plans.

'I haven't really had the chance to talk to the rest of the squad about it because I had a couple of days off last week and then they went to play Wigan, so I missed them.

'But I'm sure a few of them will have a few questions for me and I will tell them my position.'