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Former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry has been appointed as head coach of Monaco until June 2021.

The 41-year-old Frenchman, who had been Belgium’s assistant manager, began his professional career at Monaco and helped them win Ligue 1 in 1997.

The club are third from bottom in Ligue 1 and sacked manager Leonardo Jardim on Thursday.

“It seems like fate that I will begin my managerial career here,” said Henry, who is Arsenal’s record goalscorer.

The former Juventus, Barcelona and New York Red Bulls player was linked with Aston Villa in recent weeks and said he received some “very attractive offers” over the last few months.

“Monaco will always be close to my heart,” he added. “I’m incredibly excited to be given this opportunity but now the hard work must begin.”

Monaco have won just once all season in all competitions. In Ligue 1 they have six points from nine games with five defeats and they have lost both games in the Champions League.

Henry’s first game in charge will be against Strasbourg in the league on 20 October, before a Champions League tie with Club Brugge four days later.

Portuguese boss Jardim was appointed in 2014 and led the club to the French title in 2017, their first since 2000.

The 44-year-old also guided Monaco to the Champions League semi-finals in 2016-17 and helped develop players such as Paris St-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe, Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Lemar, and Manchester City pair Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy.

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