Roberto Martinez is unable to confirm whether Thierry Henry will be his assistant for Belgium’s friendly game with Netherlands on Tuesday amid speculation he is set to take over at Monaco.
Following Leonardo Jardim’s sacking by Monaco on Thursday, sources have told ESPN that ex-Arsenal and Barcelona forward Henry is the frontrunner on a three-man shortlist that also includes River Plate boss Marcelo Gallardo and former Juventus and Chelsea manager Antonio Conte.
Martinez was adamant, however, Henry would be in the dugout against Switzerland on Friday.
“I can assure you he’ll be alongside me on the bench for the match,” he said. “After that, we’ll see.
“Each time there’s a vacant position, his name comes up. But this time, he has a history with the club.”
When asked whether Henry would be involved on Tuesday, Martinez said: “Let’s talk about it again after Switzerland. We can even talk about the weather then too.”
Part of the Belgium coach’s backroom staff as the Red Devils finished third at the 2018 World Cup, Henry was promoted to Martinez’s No. 2 following Graeme Jones’ departure for West Bromwich Albion.
Henry, 41, has made no secret of his desire to take charge of a team himself, and was linked to another Ligue 1 club, Bordeaux, earlier this season only for talks to break down.
Henry’s influence on a talented Belgian side has been lauded by the squad, many of whom idolised the France international while growing up.
Belgium captain Eden Hazard praised Henry’s contribution, but admitted that having worked with Martinez since the Spaniard took charge of Belgium in summer 2016, the ex-New York Red Bulls striker’s time to move on may have come.
“If we think of ourselves, we want him to stay. He contributes a lot to us,” Hazard said. “It’s perhaps the right time for him to become a coach. With his experience as a player and the bit of experience he has as an assistant, he has everything he needs to do it. He knows football and will have the respect of his players.”