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Napoli join Arsenal in the race for Celtic full-back Kieran Tierney

Kieran Tierney

Bengaluru, June 21: Italian Serie A giants Napoli are reportedly ready to fight it out with Arsenal for the signing of Celtic full-back Kieran Tierney. Reports in England claim that the Serie A giants have made enquiries for the £25million-rated Celtic left-back and are well aware of the Gunners’ long-standing interest in the Scotsman.

Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti is hugely impressed with Tierney’s pedigree. At just 22, he’s already won eight major honours, including two Trebles, made over 150 club appearances, starred in the Champions League and Europa League while also earning 12 Scotland caps.

Ancelotti also hopes he can have an edge over Arsenal for the three-time Young Player of the Year in being able to offer guaranteed Champions League spot. Napoli finished second behind Juventus last season while Unai Emery’s Gunners, Europa League runners-up, finished fifth in the Premier League.

Arsenal’s interest has been widely reported for months and now they are preparing to test Celtic’s resolve to keep Tierney who is under contract until 2023. It’s believed they are prepared to beat any other rival bid but could also look to tempt the Hoops by offering one of a number of fringe players Carl Jenkinson, Jordi Osei-Tutu, Emile Smith Rowe or Eddie Nketiah.

Tierney’s currently recovering from a double hernia operation several days after the Scottish Cup Final and it’s touch and go for him to be fit for the Champions League qualifying tie in Sarajevo on July 9-10.

Celts No. 2 John Kennedy admitted they’ve become used to Tierney transfer talk ever since he made his name at an early age.

He said: "It has been the same for the last four windows, hasn’t it?

"Kieran is still recovering from surgery. His rehab will continue over the next couple of weeks.

"It’s one we’ll have to monitor. He will be pushing it towards the stage of the qualifiers.

"But we’ll have to see how he is feeling on a daily basis.”

Tierney has been linked with a number of major clubs in England over the years but Napoli's interest now means that he is also watched by clubs outside the United Kingdom which speaks for his potential.

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Story first published: Friday, June 21, 2019, 14:41 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 21, 2019
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