Celtic boss Neil Lennon has this afternoon provided an update on Arsenal’s pursuit of defender Kieran Tierney.
22-year-old left-back Tierney has long been viewed as one of the finest talents to emerge from Scotland over the course of the last decade.
Despite his tender years, the stopper has already racked up well over 150 appearances for Celtic’s first-team, after breaking into the club’s senior setup for the first time in 2015.
Tierney is the complete modern full-back, combining solid defensive instincts and ability in the tackle with a stellar engine and creative streak.
Perfectly summing up the latter of these traits is the fact that the Hoops’ dynamo racked up 5 goals and 22 assists in the league alone over the last 4 seasons.
In many ways, Tierney can be likened in playing style to fellow countryman Andy Robertson.
As such, Tierney’s fine form and room for growth have inevitably seen the 12-time capped international linked with a move away from Celtic Park.
Last summer saw Manchester United hotly-tipped with a move for Tierney. In the end, however, a move to Old Trafford failed to materialise.
Reports of late, though, have suggested that one of United’s Premier League rivals have firmly entered the race for Tierney.
The outfit in question are Unai Emery’s Arsenal.
In fact, SkyBet last month placed the Gunners as odds-on favourites to seal a summer deal for the Celtic star:
Arsenal – 4/6
Leicester City – 8/1
Napoli – 20/1
Borussia Dortmund – 20/1
Inter Milan – 25/1
Arsenal knocked back
The weeks since, though, have seen the north Londoners struggle to thrash out a deal with Celtic.
After seeing an initial bid of £15 million firmly knocked back by the Scottish champions, an improved offer on Arsenal’s part was forthcoming over the weekend.
The proposal, including bonuses, matched Celtic’s £25 million valuation of Tierney.
As such, an agreement was expected to be forthcoming between the clubs.
It subsequently emerged, however, that Celtic had once again rebuffed the Gunners, after taking issue with the ‘breakdown and nature of the instalments’ proposed:
Arsenal’s latest bid was submitted to Celtic on Friday and Kieran Tierney is keen for the move to happen. It is complicated by the breakdown and nature of the instalments Arsenal are proposing – but there remains optimism that the transfer will be completed #AFC #CelticFC https://t.co/biLr8DOSdx
— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) July 14, 2019
‘Valuation has not been met’
As a result, speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Celtic boss Neil Lennon was inevitably drawn on the speculation surrounding his star defender.
Lennon confirmed that a 2nd Arsenal bid had been rejected by the Hoops, reiterating that the club’s valuation of Tierney is yet to be met.
He also added that Celtic remain ‘comfortable’, seemingly suggesting that his side are in no rush to sell:
“The club’s valuation has not been met. I don’t know what Arsenal’s financial state is…” 💰
Neil Lennon reveals a second bid for defender Kieran Tierney has been rejected and that Celtic will not sell for under their asking price.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) July 16, 2019