Portuguese leaves by mutual consent, Henry takes reins on three-year deal

AS Monaco have announced the official departure of Leonardo Jardim as manager after four years in charge of the club, with Thierry Henry stepping in to take control on a three-year contract. After a dismal run of form which has seen Monaco pick up only six points from their opening nine games – their worst start to a season in recent memory – Jardim and the club have parted ways by mutual consent. In his place, Henry will return to the club where he learnt his trade in Ligue 1 as a 17-year-old.

“I want to thank with deepest respect Leonardo for all the work [he has] done. His passage will remain as one of the most beautiful pages in the history of the club. Leonardo will still be part of the Monaco family,” said Vadim Vasilyev, chief executive of the club, in a statement on their website. Jardim took over in June 2014 and helped Les Monegasques achieve their first Ligue 1 title in 20 years in 2017, as well as reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League in the same year.

However, he was forced to endure the sale of a string of high-profile players, including World Cup winners Kylian Mbappé, Thomas Lemar and Benjamin Mendy, as well as Portuguese star Bernardo Silva and Brazilian sensation Fabinho. His team finished in second place last season, albeit some distance off first place Paris Saint-Germain, and this year Monaco have toiled badly after an opening day victory at Nantes. “I am grateful and proud to have been able to coach AS Monaco for more than four years. I have always given the best of myself and worked with passion. We have won great victories together and I will always keep those memories with me,” Jardim told fans on the Monaco website.

His replacement has been confirmed as France’s all-time top goalscorer Thierry Henry, who began his career at the club and helped them to the Ligue 1 title in 2000. While he lacks individual managerial experience, he has served as Roberto Martinez’s apprentice with Belgium for the last two years. He is expected to be joined in his new role by the Benfica under-23s coach Valado Tralhao and the Arsenal academy coach Kwame Apadu. “In the first place, I thank AS Monaco for giving me the opportunity to coach the team of this club so special to me,” said Henry. “I cannot wait to meet the players to start working together.”