Henry staying on at Barcelona

Paris, May 6:

Thierry Henry has insisted he will stay for at least another year with Barcelona despite a mixed first season in Spanish football.

“As for my future, non, I do not want to leave,” he told Le Parisien newspaper. “I still have three years to run on my contract here (at Barcelona) and I will still be here next year.”

The French international striker joined Barcelona at the end of last season after years of success at Arsenal in the English Premier League but he has struggled to nail down a regular first team place. Henry will be a key figure for France at next month’s Euro 2008 championships in Austria and Switzerland. He is his country’s all-time record goal-scorer with 44.

Meanwhile, Barcelona have lined up their former player and current reserve coach Pep Guardiola to succeed Frank Rijkaard as manager next season, Spanish media suggested.

According to reports an official announcement is due to be made on May 19 after the final round of league games. A Champions League semi-final defeat by Manchester United left Rijkaard facing the sack at the end of another trophy-less season.

Club president Joan Laporta and sporting director Txiki Begiristain have reportedly already taken the decision to appoint Guardiola and will put it to the side’s directors at their next meeting. Barcelona, lying third, are away to newly crowned champions and bitter rivals Real Madrid on Wednesday.