Huge Mikel Arteta U-turn frees up Kieran Tierney for hotly-anticipated Celtic or Newcastle United transfer
Mikel Arteta had previously made it clear that Kieran Tierney was part of his Arsenal plans this season after impressive pre-season performances.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta appears to have made a U-turn on his plans for Kieran Tierney in a decision that boosts Celtic's chances of bringing the defender back to Glasgow.
Last month, Arteta made it clear that the 26-year-old was in his plans for the Gunners' upcoming campaign after using him during pre-season fixtures in the United States.
The Spaniard states that Tierney was 'in our plans' and that the added competition for places would be a 'huge benefit' to the squad.
The Scotland international had been linked with a move away from the Emirates Stadium this summer after being ousted from the Arsenal starting XI by Oleksandr Zinchenko last term. Tierney made 27 Premier League appearances last season but only six of those were as a starting player.
Arteta had previously told the press: “He is in our plans. And as you said, he came on and did really well [against Manchester United].
"It’s not the first time, every time he’s played in pre-season, he’s been really good. This is why we want to create competition in the team, raise the level of each individual and that’s going to be a huge benefit for the team to get to another level.”
However, Football Insider now reports that Arsenal are willing to let Tierney leave alongside five other senior stars this window in a bid to make some of the £200 million spent this summer back.
The outlet claims that sources have confirmed the club are listening to bids for Tierney, alongside Folarin Balogun, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Rob Holding Nuno Tavares and Matt Turner.
Tierney has been linked with a move to Newcastle United as well as a return to Celtic, with Magpies boss Eddie Howe in the market for another full-back. Recent reports suggest that Howe could be investing more time in landing Southampton star Tino Livramento after Arsenal's initial reluctance to sell Tierney.
Whether or not Brendan Rodgers and Celtic manage to pull off a deal for the star will depend on the London club's valuation. Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers had previously said: “You can just never say never in football. Who knows what might happen? We wouldn’t be able to buy Kieran for £25-£30million, that’s for sure, or the figures I see banded about.
"I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t be able to pay the huge salary he’s on. However, one can never tell.”