Celtic manager Neil Lennon has confirmed that Arsenal have had an offer for left back Kieran Tierney rejected.
Lennon was happy to discuss the Gunners interest relatively openly and told the Scottish Sun: "He’s on a long-term contract, he’s an asset and we don’t want to sell him."
Despite reports suggesting Arsenal were set to return to the negotiating table with an improved offer last week, speaking yesterday Lennon said: "There have been no more bids that I’m aware of."
Can Arsenal prise him away?
Negotiating is an art, one that Arsenal have undoubtedly struggled with in recent seasons whether it be in their efforts to bring players to the club or simply to keep those already employed at the Emirates Stadium.
Often clubs will go back and fourth multiple times before a fee is agreed but judging by Lennon’s remarks it seems the two clubs remain miles apart in terms of their valuation of the player.
"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,” Lennon added.
The appeal of the Premier League will no doubt have turned Tierney’s head, at least temporarily - that's not to say he’s desperate to leave Glasgow but Lennon has acknowledged the dilemma with which the player may be having to cope and stated: "I’ve had a chat with Kieran as it can be a difficult decision and bit unsettling. I’ve been there myself so it’s important that we support him regardless of the outcome.”
It remains to be seen whether or not Arsenal are willing to pay Celtic’s asking price but BBC Sports David Ornstein reported last week that the Gunners are ‘confident’ an agreement will be reached.
The interest is certainly concrete and if you read between the lines, Lennon’s comments suggest that despite Celtics reluctance to sell, if the money is right and the player expresses his wishes to leave for life in the Premier League, they may be forced to look for a replacement sooner rather than later.