Arsenal are poised to make a third attempt to prise Kieran Tierney away from Celtic this week as the London club face increasing unrest among their supporters over their transfer activity.
Celtic have already rejected two offers from Arsenal for Tierney, the second of which was received last Friday but which still fell short of the Scottish champions’ £25 million valuation of the left-back.
While that figure could ultimately have been realised under the terms proposed by Arsenal, the manner in which ‘add-on’ clauses were constructed failed to satisfy Celtic who are under no pressure to sell Tierney.
Celtic clearly hold the upper hand in the ongoing negotiations, with Arsenal coming under renewed fire from their own fans over the level of investment in the playing squad under their American owner Stan Kroenke.
So far this summer, Arsenal’s net spend in the transfer market is just £1 million. The £6 million fee for their only signing so far, 18-year-old Brazilian winger Gabriel Martinelli, was offset by the £5 million sale of goalkeeper David Ospina to Napoli.
In an open letter to the club published on Monday, 16 prominent Arsenal supporters groups combined to voice their concerns.
“Arsenal have invested money in recent years, but their approach to both buying players and paying wages looks uncoordinated and appears to lack strategy,” it said.
“There has also been a lot of turnover in the senior football personnel. A strong board would be proactively managing this. It is sad that an institution like Arsenal FC has such passive ownership. All of us want to see a clear sense of purpose and direction.”
The transfer deadline for English Premier League clubs is earlier than in other European countries after an agreement to close their window before the league season kicks off. It means Arsenal have until 5pm on 8 August to close a deal for Tierney or any of their other targets.
It is understood they will offer the 22-year-old Scotland international a five-year contract which would see him earn close to £80,000 a week.
Tierney, who is under contract to Celtic until the summer of 2023, will not agitate for a move to go through but sources close to him have indicated he is enthused by the prospect of joining Arsenal if the clubs do reach an agreement.
Arsenal remain confident they can get the deal over the line, with talks continuing between their new head of football Raul Sanllehi and Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell. Arsenal head coach Unai Emery is understood to have made it clear to Sanllehi that he regards Tierney as a priority signing this summer.
Napoli have also expressed an interest in Tierney but there has been no firm offer from the Serie A club yet. The transfer window for Italian clubs closes on the 18 August and Napoli are continuing to monitor Tierney’s situation.
The player remains sidelined at the moment as he continues his recovery from the double hernia operation he underwent in May, having been consistently troubled by pelvic problems last season.