Arsène Wenger has described stories of Thierry Henry leaving Arsenal as "completely invented".

Media reports this morning revived the suggestion that Barcelona may be interested in the French striker. Within hours, captain and manager had spoken. At his pre-match press conference on Friday, Wenger made it quite clear how the conversation had gone.

"The story is wrong," he said. "I had a chat with Thierry this morning. He asked me whether I'd read the newspapers. I'd not heard about his story. But it's completely invented. He's clear, he wants to stay. I'm clear, I want him to stay. So that story has been created.

"He wanted to make it obvious to everybody. I was not concerned because I know the day Thierry Henry wants to leave he will knock at my door and say: 'Listen, I want to go somewhere.' As long as he didn't do that [I wasn't worried]."

In fact Wenger believes that Henry can shake off his injury problems this season and scale even greater heights in the next campaign.

"Yes he can because he is intelligent and he is class," said the manager. "That means he learns from every game he plays.

"I'm optimistic that [the break will benefit him]. It's good sometimes to look at your job from a distance. First of all you experience how much you miss it and secondly you are natural in your analysing of the game. You are more objective about the football situations."

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6 Apr 2007