Arsenal legend Thierry Henry in midst of bidding war as his MLS spell enters final year

Thierry Henry New York

UK Broadcasting giants Sky Sports and BT Sport battle over former Barcelona man's punditry services.

Arsenal and France legend Thierry Henry is at the centre of a bidding war between Sky Sports and BT Sport for his punditry services, according to the Daily Mail.

The New York Red Bulls striker will begin his final season in MLS in March, and will be free to work as a pundit by the end of the calendar year, although he has not yet confirmed his intention to retire.

Henry made a largely well-received appearance on Sky Sports’ UEFA Champions League coverage in December and is also wanted by several broadcasters outside the UK.

The former Juventus and Monaco player won UEFA’s most prestigious tournament with Barcelona in 2009 and with BT having secured UK Champions League rights from 2015 it would make sense for them to appoint an expert of his calibre.

He could join fellow Champions League winner Owen Hargreaves and fellow ex-France star David Ginola on the BT Sport team alongside the likes of Michael Owen, Steve McManaman and David James.

However Sky are seeking to secure another big name in case Gary Neville chooses to leave to focus on coaching or management on a full-time basis, as the former Manchester United captain is currently England’s assistant coach.

Henry has scored 42 goals in 100 appearances for the Red Bulls since joining them in 2010, and he spent a brief stint back at Arsenal on loan in 2012.

As well as his Champions League triumph with Barcelona, Henry won the World Cup and European Championship with France and was part of Arsenal’s legendary ‘Invincibles’ side that went unbeaten in the 2003/04 Premier League.

He made a total of 377 appearances for Arsenal, scoring 228 goals, and securing his services would be a huge boost for any broadcaster.

The BBC have already got him on board as part of their World Cup 2014 coverage team but it is doubtful that they could employ him for the long term as he would command even bigger fees than the £8000 Match of the Day pays Alan Shearer for each appearance.

Whether Henry sees his long term future as a pundit remains to be seen, as in 2012 he told USA Today that managing Arsenal would be a dream and he might fancy his chances in the dugout.

image: © structures nyc

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