Celtic manager Neil Lennon insists the club are in a strong position to retain left-back Kieran Tierney despite Arsenal’s repeated attempts to sign him.
Arsenal’s transfer plans have somewhat looked shaky this summer, and the North London side are about to receive a set back in one of their pursuits. The Mail reports Celtic are keeping their options open regarding Kieran Tierney, but their manager Neil Lenon insists the club are in a strong position to retain him.
Arsenal have been pursuing Tierney for the entire summer. Unai Emery had been looking for a left-back to provide competition for current stars Sead Kolasinac and Nacho Monreal. However, with Monreal at the wrong side of his career and Kolasinac still not someone who could be relied upon consistently. Tierney emerged as the option Emery wanted to bring to the Emirates.
Initially, it looked as if Arsenal could get their man after making their interest quite open. However, Celtic have held their ground with this move as they demand Arsenal or any club meet their valuation of the player. The pursuit may not have gone Arsenal’s way so far, but the Gunners are still believed to be in the race.
Celtic have rejected two bids from Arsenal so far. The latest of those offers was valued at £25 million, but Lennon insists that number may not be enough. Now its not known how much Celtic are valuing Tierney at. Some quarters reckon they want something closer to the £50 million Manchester United paid for Aaron Wan-Bissaka
Arsenal certainly are not in a position to pay an amount like that, although the Gunners could yet come back with an improved offer. Due to Arsenal not meeting the valuation, Tottenham expressed their interest recently. Spurs might lose Danny Rose in the summer and wanted Tierney to replace the England international.
However, Celtic manager Lennon is hopeful of keeping the left-back this season as he insists the club are in a strong position with Tierney. Lennon, however, insisted Arsenal have not been disrespectful over their pursuit.
He said, “I’ve had no information other than there was two bids that came in from Arsenal that were rejected. There has been no further inroads into that really. Our valuation of Kieran wasn’t met, and it’s as simple as that. You will see other transfers not going through because valuations haven’t been met. It’s not a case of Arsenal being disrespectful.
‘They put a bid in that they valued the player at. They came back again and obviously see Kieran as a very good player, as we do. But on a long-term contract we’re in a very strong position when it comes to Kieran.’
That said, Celtic do have a strong case as Tierney is contracted until 2023. Arsenal, on the other hand, will likely try again with an improved bid. They do not have other options lined up for the left-back slot, and they have been in Tierney’s case for too long to let go like this. However, the ball is in Celtic’s court.