Jose Mourinho reveals he tried to sign Arsenal legend Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry

Jose Mourinho attempted to sign Thierry Henry when he was assistant manager at Barcelona.

Henry is one of the true Premier League greats, and he announced his retirement from the professional game on Tuesday.

The former Arsenal and Barcelona forward is moving into the media following a 20-year playing career that also brought spells with Monaco, Juventus and New York Red Bulls. It is his eight year spell with the Gunners which the 37-year-old is best known for, having netted an incredible 228 goals in 376 games - and playing his part in their ‘Invincibles’ season of 2003/04.

However, Henry could never have joined the North London club if Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho had his way.

Mourinho confirmed to the Standard that he attempted to sign the 123-capped French international during his spell as an assistant manager at Barcelona, when Henry was set to leave first club Monaco. He went on to join Serie A side Juventus in January 1999, playing for just half a season before reuniting with Arsene Wenger - his manager at Monaco - when the coach brought him to Highbury for an estimated £11 million fee in August of that year.

“I tried to sign him once in my career,” the 51-year-old Chelsea head coach said. “When I was an assistant in Barcelona. He was in Monaco and he went to Juventus, we lost him by an inch.”

Whilst this may give hope that Chelsea could have signed Henry during his peak years at Arsenal, Mourinho admitted that he lost interest in the forward after his arrival at Stamford Bridge as Henry would never have left the Gunners for their London rivals.

He added: “After that he was not on my radar because it was never a possibility to come to my teams. Could you imagine in that moment leaving Arsenal to come to Chelsea? I wouldn't imagine that.”

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