Manchester United have ramped up their interest in Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney, who is now their top summer target according to the Express, and will send a scout to watch him face Rangers this weekend.
Signing the Scotland international ahead of a more high-profile and experienced man would show that Ed Woodward’s Harlem Globetrotters transfer approach may be a thing of the past and that Jose Mourinho is beginning to understand the club’s tradition of developing their own players.
The report states that Tierney – valued at just £4.5m by Transfermarkt – has moved to the top of Mourinho’s shortlist as the former Inter manager prioritises left-back as an area to improve in the summer.
Apparently, Jose will have the Scotsman watched in the Old Firm derby and has spoken to former Scotland manager Craig Brown about the full-back’s development.
It will not be easy, as Tierney has a Celtic contract that runs until 2023 but Mourinho has reportedly told Woodward to break the bank to get the deal done.
With the signings of Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, it felt almost like United were more concerned with attracting clicks and headlines across the world than they were about how the players would fit in at the club.
For example, Lukaku, Sanchez and Zlatan Ibrahimovic as well, have all hamstrung the development of Marcus Rashford in terms of gametime and the young Englishman is exactly the kind of player who would have been at the forefront of plans under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Obviously the Scottish connection is easy to make, but Tierney feels like another player Ferguson would sign – young, hungry, ambitious and used to playing for a huge British club.
Other players – Alex Sandro or Jordi Alba, for example – might attract more publicity but Tierney is a transfer that would be made with affairs on the pitch put first. That’s why it shows Mourinho is really the man in charge, not money man Woodward.