Thursday Kickoff: Henry-to-Arsenal picks up steam, Ronaldinho stays put and more

Thursday Kickoff: Henry-to-Arsenal picks up steam, Ronaldinho stays put and more

European Soccer

Thursday Kickoff: Henry-to-Arsenal picks up steam, Ronaldinho stays put and more

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HenryArsenal (Getty Images)

By JOHN BOSCHINI

Although Thierry Henry's recent stint at Arsenal was technically just for training, rumors continue to swirl that Arsene Wenger is considering offering the former Arsenal striker a short-term contract. Some reports stipulate that a two-month loan has already been offered to the New York Red Bulls forward.

Arsenal is set to lose a couple of key players during January for the African Cup of Nations and Henry could prove to be a short-term fix for a lack of depth at the striking position.

A statue of Henry was unveiled earlier this season outside of the Emirates, and Arsenal players have been impressed with the 34-year-old Frenchman, most notably German defender Per Mertesacker. There has been no word from MLS on whether or not a short-term loan, much like the one granted to Landon Donovan, would be approved.

Here are some more stories to get your Thursday going:

RONALDINHO STAYING AT FLAMENGO

All hopes of Ronaldinho coming to MLS can be put on hold for at least another year.

The Brazilian star is reportedly set for another season with Flamengo in his native country after the club and his representatives agreed to a one-year deal.

Ronaldinho enjoyed a resurgence at Flamengo last year, getting back on the international radar after suffering a major dip from the form that made him among the world's top players for years. He had been heavily linked to MLS as a Designated Player signing — most notably for the Los Angeles Galaxy — but it appears that the earliest that will be a possibility again will be in 2013.

ANCELOTTI SET FOR PSG

Carlo Ancelotti is set to return to management and, like at Chelsea, he'll have money to spend.

The 52-year-old Italian manager is on the verge of signing with ambitious, and very rich, Paris St. Germain on a two-and-a-half-year contract valued at nearly $8 million a year. Ancelotti was fired by Chelsea in May for failing to take home any more silverware after guiding the club to the Premier League and FA Cup titles in his first season at Stamford Bridge.

PSG is expected to make several blockbuster signings during the January transfer window with David Beckham — who played under Ancelotti while on loan at AC Milan — Florent Malouda and Alexandre Pato all rumored as targets.

According to multiple reports coming out of Europe, PSG is expected to confirm Ancelotti's signing on Thursday. Ancelotti will replace Antoine Kombouare, who was fired three days before Christmas following an untimely exit from the French Cup and the Europa League. PSG currently sits three points clear at the top of the Ligue 1 table.

CELTIC TAKES SPL LEAD AFTER OLD FIRM WIN

Despite a rocky start to the season, Celtic is now atop of the Scottish Premier League after a 1-0 victory over bitter rivals Rangers in the latest edition of the Old Firm derby on Wednesday. Joe Ledley scored off a corner in the 52nd minute to give Neil Lennon's men their ninth victory in a row and cement a 15-point comeback in the standings in less than two month's time.

The green half of Glasgow is two points clear of Rangers with 50 points at the turn of the year and is 16 points clear of third-place Motherwell.

Carlos Bocanegra started and went the distance for Rangers, while Maurice Edu came off the bench in the 79th minute.

HULK NAMES CHELSEA AS TOP CHOICE

Brazilian forward Hulk, one of the most prized players on the transfer market, has named Chelsea as a top choice, according to the player's agent. The FC Porto striker is reportedly hoping to work with former manager Andre Villas-Boas, with whom he won Portuguese and Europa League titles in 2011.

Standing in the way of such a move is a $156 million buyout clause Porto is determined to stick to. This has already taken many of Europe's top clubs out of the running and makes it a big hurdle for clubs to clear in order to secure Hulk's services.

MARADONA OPEN TO UAE COACHING JOB

Diego Maradona has said he is open to taking over as coach of the United Arab Emirates national team. The Argentinian legend who helmed his native country during a tumultuous 2010 World Cup in South Africa is now the manager of UAE club side Al Wasl.

The national team has been without a coach since September and has lost three games under interim coach Abdullah Masfar. Maradona said he had not been approached about the position but said he would accept it "with pleasure."

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Do you want to see Henry go back to Arsenal on a short-term loan? Disappointed Ronaldinho is staying at Flamengo? Is Ancelotti a good hire at PSG? Do you think Celtic will win its first title since 2009? Would you want your team to pay the fee for a chance to sign Hulk? Think Maradona should return to the international coaching scene?

Share your thoughts below.

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