Aston Villa speak to Henry as they close in on appointing Arsenal hero

Aston Villa have spoken to Thierry Henry as the club closes in on appointing the former Arsenal striker as manager.

Discussions have taken place between Henry and Villa’s hierarchy, with owner Nassef Sawiris understood to be keen for the appointment.

Sawiris, the Egyptian billionaire, was an Arsenal season ticket holder as Henry led the line at Highbury and believes he can improve Villa’s style of performance. Supporters turned on Steve Bruce over a perceived lack of adventure in displays.
Christian Purslow, Villa’s new chief executive, is heading the process that should conclude before the team’s next Championship fixture against Swansea on October 20.

Henry’s involvement with Belgium may affect that timeline. The 41-year-old is due to assist Roberto Martinez during international fixtures against Switzerland and Holland.
John Terry is another candidate that has strongly interested Villa, and Brentford manager Dean Smith also has admirers at the club. But all signs at present are pointing to Henry being given the job.

Villa are also close to appointing a new sporting director to replace Steve Round, who left in the summer. Jesus Garcia Pitarch is expected to get the position.
Pitarch has previously worked in the same role at Valencia and agent Jorge Mendes, who advises Sawiris, is said to be involved in the move.

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