Arsenal are prepared to make Thierry Henry the highest-paid player in the history of the club to keep him at the club, according to reports in the UK.

Henry has refused to enter negotiations over a new contract, fuelling fears that he may leave at the end of the season. Arsenal’s concern is that he sees out his contract which would allow the Frenchman to leave the club on a free transfer.

But Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood told London’s Evening Standard that the club would be prepared to break the £82,000 a week they had paid Patrick Vieira.

“We have not talked about the offer yet,” Hill-Wood told The Standard.

“But it is fair to say he would become the highest-paid player in Arsenal’s history — and deservedly so.

“We would also have liked to talk before the end of the season but it is Thierry’s right to leave it until then. It is his life but we want him to stay and he knows that.”

Henry, 28, currently earns £75,000 a week, the paper said. His contract expires in June 2007.