Thierry Henry to Arsenal almost done, says Arsene Wenger

Wenger confirms Henry offer as he backs exceptional striker to make an impact at Arsenal

Arsene Wenger has confirmed that a deal to bring Thierry Henry back to Arsenal is almost complete.

The former Gunners captain and club”s record goalscorer has been training with the team since the MLS – where he plays for New York Red Bulls – ended in November.

And after Sportsmail revealed on Thursday that a deal had been offered to the 34-year-old striker, Wenger admitted it had been his idea to bring his countryman back on board.

Returning hero: Henry (right) is set to accept Arsenal

Returning hero: Henry (right) is set to accept Arsenal”s offer of a two-month loan

The manager said: “The deal is not completed, and at the moment we can”t announce anything. It was my idea.He was happy about it, but it was my idea.

“He is still class and has quality. He still has pace. No one expects him to be what he was 10 years ago. There”s no special pressure.

“He is experienced, he is quality, and can help the players on and off the pitch. It can only be positive, because he has exceptional talent.

“It shows that Arsenal is always special to players, such as Sol Campbell, Jens Lehmann and now Thierry.”

Sportsmail understands Henry will wear the No 12 shirt. His old No 14 shirt is currently taken by Theo Walcott.

Your number

Your number”s up! But Henry used to wear the No 12 shirt for France

Arsenal are understood to have agreed a suitable insurance package with the Red Bulls and will also cover all of Henry’s 70,000-a-week wages.

If everything goes according to plan, Arsenal hope to have the deal ratified when the transfer window opens on Sunday. Henry could make his second Arsenal ‘debut’ in the FA Cup third-round tie against Leeds United on January 9. Wenger wants him as cover when Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh go to the Africa Cup of Nations next month.

Plugging the gap: Henry comes in while Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh are away at the Africa Cup of Nations

Plugging the gap: Henry comes in while Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh are away at the Africa Cup of Nations

Henry left north London in 2007 to join Barcelona, eight years after arriving from Juventus. But he is still revered by supporters and the club unveiled a statue of the Frenchman outside the Emirates earlier this month.