Celtic boss Neil Lennon has confirmed that Arsenal’s first bid for Kieran Tierney was well short of the club’s valuation, and they’re yet to submit a second.
The BBC’s David Ornstein recently confirmed that Arsenal had submitted a £15m bid for Tierney, and seen it turned down. He added that the Gunners remained optimistic, and claimed on Wednesday that the two clubs are still in talks over the transfer.
There had been some talk from elsewhere that Arsenal had already submitted their second bid, but Lennon insists they’ve only had the one so far, and it’s well short of their valuation.
“Arsenal are aware of what we value the player at,” Lennon said (via TheScottishSun). “He’s on a long-term contract, he’s an asset and we don’t want to sell him. There have been no more bids that I’m aware of.
“It’s going to have to take a lot more than what they’ve offered the first time around to give us a decision to make.”
Despite Lennon’s insistence that Celtic don’t want to sell, he then went on to suggest that Arsenal’s bid had the potential to be unsettling for Tierney, and it had given him a difficult decision to make.
“I’ve had a chat with Kieran as it can be a difficult decision and bit unsettling,” Lennon continued. “I’ve been there myself so it’s important that we support him regardless of the outcome.”
Finally, on the player’s continuing recovery after surgery, Lennon said: “His fitness progress is slow. It will be a couple of weeks yet.”
It seems as if Celtic are planning to play hardball, and understandably so. Tierney is one of few at the club they could realistically request £20m+ for, so this is a rare opportunity to boost their transfer budget.
If Arsenal fail to stump up the asking price, Celtic will happily see Tierney continuing to play for them. Unfortunately, Unai Emery’s side aren’t in the strongest negotiating position, so they may just have to pay up to complete the signing.