Thierry Henry leaves MLS side Montreal and returns to London ‘for family reasons’

Thierry Henry leaves MLS side Montreal and returns to London 'for family reasons'
The French coach had been linked with the Bournemouth job (Picture: Getty Images)

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has stepped down from his role as head coach of Major League Soccer side Montreal so he can return to London and spend more time with his family.

The Frenchman, who took over the club in November 2019 after being sacked by Monaco, enjoyed a solid reign in charge, making the playoffs, and was linked with the Bournemouth job recently – though caretaker boss Jonathan Woodgate was given the gig until the end of the season.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and various travel restrictions, Henry has been unable to see his children for over a year and has decided to leave his role and return to London before the new MLS season begins.

Thierry Henry Montreal Impact at New York Red Bulls
Under Henry, Montreal reached the quarter-finals of the Concacaf Champions League (Getty)

‘It is with a heavy heart that I’ve decided to take this decision,’ Henry explained in a statement on Thursday.

‘The last year has been an extremely difficult one for me personally. Due to the worldwide pandemic, I was unable to see my children.

‘Unfortunately due to the ongoing restrictions and the fact that we will have to relocate to the US again for several months will be no different.

‘The separation is too much of a strain for me and my kids. Therefore, it is with much sadness that I must take the decision to return to London and leave CF Montreal.

‘I would like to thank the fans, players and all the staff of this Club that have made me feel so welcome. I would also like to thank Kevin Gilmore, Olivier Renard and of course Joey and all of the Saputo family for giving me this wonderful opportunity.

‘We had an impossible year together and to make the playoffs with this group of people is an experience that I will never forget. Thank you all for being there on this journey and I wish you all the success for the future.’

Thierry Henry Montreal Impact - Leg 2: Quarterfinals - 2020 CONCACAF Champions League
Henry’s next management job is likely to be in English football (Picture: Getty Images)

Montreal sporting director Olivier Renard said: ‘Thierry’s departure is unfortunate and premature because this was very promising, but he informed me of his desire to be back with his family because the situation was and remains very difficult for both him and his family.

‘I want to thank him, first on a human level because he led the players by example last year by being away from his family, but also from a sporting level and for what we have built together since his arrival.

‘We wanted to elevate this club and we are on the right track. The process of finding a new head coach is already underway and I will be looking for someone who is aligned with the philosophy we have implemented.’

MORE : Arsene Wenger sends message to Thierry Henry over Bournemouth job

MORE : Arsenal star Granit Xhaka responds to Patrice Evra’s Thierry Henry claim

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