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Friday, 26 August 2016

Arsenal legend named as new Belgium assistant manager

Thierry Henry has been named as the Belgium national team’snew assistant coach.

The Arsenal legend will remain in his role as a pundit for Sky Sports while working alongside head coach Roberto Martinez.

Henry, 39, left Arsenal's backroom staff earlier this summer after the north London club asked him to focus solely on coaching.

The former France international joins Belgium's backroom staff alonside Graeme Jones, Martinez's assistant at Swansea City, Wigan Athletic and Everton.

The Belgian national team's official Twitter account quoted Martinez as saying: "Thierry Henry has been in the situation to change the spirit into winning something...

"I'm very satisfied that (the Belgian federation) has been able to create an impressive staff."

Henry tweeted: "Honoured to be assistant coach @BelRedDevils. Thanks to Roberto Martinez & the Royal Belgian Football Association. Very excited. Can't wait."

Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez fly in for Arsenal medicals

Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez are closing on moves to Arsenal after flying in for pre-deadline medicals on Friday.

Sky in Germany are reporting Mustafi, a central defender, will sign from Valencia on a five-year deal after weeks of negotiations between the two clubs, with a fee which could rise to £35m understood to have been agreed this week.

Mustafi, 24, was on Everton's books as a youngster and played for Sampdoria before joining Valencia in August 2014.

Deportivo La Coruna striker Perez is also poised to move to the Emirates, with manager Arsene Wenger saying he was "99 per cent confident" he will have strengthened his squad before the transfer window closes next Wednesday.

"Will we sign anyone before the window closes? I'm 99 per cent confident. I hope we will have done all our business before the last days of the window," Wenger said.

"It was a strange transfer market, I expected it to be easier than ever, it has been more difficult than ever.

"It looks like it will be frenetic in the last three days, everyone has sat on money but we know they will all splash out now."

Mustafi's arrival will be a huge boost to Wenger. Despite signing 20-year-old Rob Holding from Bolton Wanderers, Arsenal are perilously thin at centre-half with club captain Per Mertesacker sidelined until the New Year and Brazilian Gabriel Paulista ruled out for four weeks. 

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