Transfer Focus: Kieran Tierney shouldn’t be for sale at any price right now

Arsenal are stepping up their transfer interest in Celtic defender Kieran Tierney, according to The Daily Mail.

What’s the story?

The Celtic left-back has struggled with fitness and injury issues over the last 12 months, and has only recently returned to training after an operation, but it seems that is not putting off any potential suitors.

The Mail say Gunners boss Unai Emery has made the 22-year-old his top left-back target, convinced that he can make the step up from the Scottish Premiership to the English Premier League.

The paper reckon a deal comparable to the £20m that ensured Moussa Dembele’s exit to Lyon would be needed to sign the Scotland international, but that Emery sees that kind of fee as a “shrewd investment”.

The interest is so strong that a bid could even be tabled over the coming days, states the report.

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Too important to Celtic

That Emery is reportedly so interested in Tierney is likely a worry for some Celtic fans, with Tierney already becoming something of a club icon in his short career so far.

When figures approaching £20m are mentioned regarding Hoops players there is always a strong business case to entertain a potential transfer.

That would be Celtic’s record fee for a homegrown player if it went through and in some manner could be celebrated as a sign that the club are getting their youth development model spot on.

Right now though, the defender is just too important to the club’s immediate ambitions.

New manager Neil Lennon is gearing up for a league campaign that could deliver a massive ninth title in a row, which would be used as a springboard towards a Scottish record breaking tenth the following season.

The chance to make that kind of history is once in a lifetime and selling one of the club’s best players would be a serious blow in their attempts to achieve that goal.

With his contract not expiring until 2023, there is absolutely no rush to sell and it’s unlikely that the player’s value will depreciate anytime soon.

In fact, with his fitness issues potentially behind him, he could reach top form again next season domestically and in Europe and further enhance his reputation, increasing his value even more.