Football

Pires denies shock Arsenal return

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Former Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires has ruled out the possibility of making a comeback for Arsene Wenger.

The midfielder, who spent six years with the Gunners between 2000 and 2006, was back at the club's London Colney training ground yesterday, and remains a free agent after his contract with Aston Villa was not renewed in the summer.

An ex-French international who also gained experience in Spain during a spell with Villarreal, speculation has been rife that the 38-year-old could follow in the footsteps of Thierry Henry and return to the first team after Jack Wilshere tweeted his excitement yesterday.

The injured England international wrote on the social media site: "Super, super Robert Pires in training today. Return of another king?!? How amazing would that be?"

However, the former Metz starlet has no intention of returning to the Gunners' first team, and whilst he admitted the return of Henry was 'beautiful' in north London, it wasn't one that he would follow.

"No, it is absolutely not my intention nor the one of Arsene, who is already 'full' in the midfield. That is for sure," he told French publication L'Equipe.

"What is nice with English clubs is the fact they have respect for former players. What happened with Henry, or Scholes at Manchester United, has not surprised me.

"The beautiful story between the Gunners and Henry is going on. Not mine."

Pires, a former World Cup and European Championship winner with Les Bleus, instead suggested his future could lie in Asia or India, with teams from the relatively untapped football markets already in negotiations with the 79-cap international.

"I am waiting for propositions from Asia. Nowadays the new destination is China. I am on the negotiation level. I have also first contact in India. That is cool. That would be a nice destination on every level," he added.

"I am waiting to see what could happen with China later in January. As its league will resume soon, it should not last too long. If I have nothing else at that moment, I will stop."

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Topics:
Arsenal
Football
Premier League

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