Having seen their initial offer of £15 million rejected, Arsenal have made a second, a significantly improved one – £25 million, for Kieran Tierney, according to Sky Sports.
The 22-year-old Celtic fullback has been one of the targets the club seem to be aiming for most persistently for this summer’s transfer window, and rightly so, given the defensive woes that were plaguing Unai Emery’s team throughout last season.
Meanwhile, Tierney had problems of his own. His contribution to the Scottish champions was limited to just 21 league appearances due to a hernia problem. He has recently had surgery, and he is in the process of recovery at the moment. The report quotes Celtic boss Neil Lennon in revealing that the player still has the osteitis pubis problem, calling it “a slow burner, that one”.
Celtic have already parted ways with eight players this summer, and Lennon mentioned the need to trim his squad further.
The left-back situation
Adding Tierney to the team would certainly be a step in the right direction in terms of solving the problems at the back as it would increase competition on the left defensive flank. Nacho Monreal has signed a 12-month contract extension with an option of 12 months more, but reports claim that Arsenal would still be willing to part ways with the 33-year-old if a good offer came.
Sead Kolašinac has proven a useful addition himself since his arrival on a free transfer from Schalke two years ago, but he needs proper competition to drive him to improve further and achieve a higher level of consistency, and should Monreal stay, it would perhaps give Emery the option of moving the Spaniard to the centre-back spot permanently, a role Monreal is very capable of performing well.
What about centre-backs?
The need for strengthening the central area of defence has become more dire in the last week. Not only has captain Laurent Koscielny refused to travel to the USA with the team in order to force a move away from the club, but it appears that Tottenham Hotspur (why wouldn’t they step in to thwart Arsenal’s plans, eh?) have spoken to Lille about the possibility of snatching William Saliba right from under the Gunners’ noses.
If both north London clubs have their bids accepted, the player himself will be able to choose his destination, and that is where the failure to qualify for the Champions League may well come back to haunt Arsenal.