Brendan Rodgers insists Kieran Tierney will only leave Celtic when it becomes a ‘win-win situation’ for both the club and the increasingly coveted Scotland left-back.
Spanish giants Atletico Madrid are the latest club to show an interest in Tierney, with the Europa League winners expected to send a scout to watch him in tomorrow’s William Hill Scottish Cup Final at Hampden.
The 20-year-old has already been monitored regularly by Manchester United this season, while Bournemouth are understood to have a firm interest in bidding for him this summer.
Tierney signed a new six-year contract at Celtic last November and the Scottish champions are believed to value him at around £30 million.
Celtic manager Rodgers feels the time is not yet right for Tierney to move on but admits money will eventually talk, both in terms of a fee offered to the club and a salary package they simply won’t be able to match.
“I don’t put any speculation or figure around him,” said Rodgers. “Everyone sees the market now and there is a market out there for top talents and particularly young talents. But he’s a player who’s not for sale. He’s still got development to go and he is in a great place to learn.
“If you play for a big club (like Celtic) in whatever country, there will always be people watching you. Obviously there is a dearth of good left-backs around and with Kieran’s qualities and huge potential still as a young player, that is always going to draw the eyes of top teams.
“Kieran has a great qualities. He has a really good temperament and that is getting better in big games. Tactically, he understands the game much better. Physically, he can cope with any league in the world. He has got stronger and faster. He is playing at a big club.
“You see his passion and love for Celtic. I’m sure there will be times over the next few years when that will be tested, because obviously there will be a financial implication there that you have to think about, and he can’t not have that opportunity if it comes. But I don’t think it’s something that’s on his radar.
“He knows that to leave Celtic, ever, it has to be a win-win situation for him and the club so that people go ‘okay, we can see that one’. It tends to be more that sort of moral issue that comes into it, in terms of being on ‘x’ amount at Celtic, another club can give him more and they give you a big fee as a club.
“It’s very, very difficult for a young player to turn that down. If the player doesn’t want to go, it’s ok – you’ll not be pushing him out the door. He’s a Celtic supporter and that means everything to him, but football’s a business now for players and I think he’s recognising that if you’re playing over 15 years of your life and you’re at this club for whatever – another four or five years – he might feel that this is the happiest he’ll ever be.
“This is where football becomes a business. I hear now of so many players of years gone by, bless them, who’ve never earned the money and then people talk of loyalty and say, ‘Oh, they played this many games and blah, blah, blah’ and ‘what a player he was.’ Then they say, ‘Oh he’s struggling at the minute.’ So, you have to look after yourself and that’s the modern world. But he’s a great kid and I’m sure he’ll be here for a few years yet.”
Rodgers, meanwhile, has confirmed that Charly Musonda’s loan spell at the club has been cut short with the 21-year-old Belgian playmaker returning to Chelsea this summer.
“I had a meeting with Chelsea on Monday and my relationships there are very good,” said Rodgers. “Charly’s at a stage where he needs to play week in, week out and unfortunately I couldn’t guarantee him that.”