Arsenal, Celtic Reportedly Agree to Transfer Fee for Kieran Tierney

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistAugust 7, 2019

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 24: Kieran Tierney of Celtic controls the ball during the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Celtic and Motherwell at Celtic Park on February 24, 2019 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Arsenal are reportedly close to finally completing the signing of Kieran Tierney after agreeing a fee worth £25 million with Celtic for the left-back on Wednesday.

BBC Sport's Brian McLauchlin reported an agreement has been reached after the Hoops previously turned down two bids from the Gunners. He also noted how Tierney will now travel from Glasgow to London to "discuss personal terms."

Arsenal have been on the case of Tierney throughout this transfer window. The Gunners saw an offer of £15 million knocked back, before returning with a bid of £25 million in July, only for the Hoops to bemoan the number of add-ons in the proposed deal.

Celtic wanted more money up front, and it seems Arsenal have met that request. It makes sense to stump up the cash for a dynamic young player who can be an asset for the Gunners at both ends of the pitch.

Still just 22, Tierney is an impressive defender who also offers pace going forward and technique in attacking areas. His final ball would be a major upgrade over the service provided by Sead Kolasinac.

Overlapping full-backs are key to the enterprising high-press Unai Emery has tried to install at Arsenal. The approach not only demands energy going forward, it also requires the athleticism to track back quickly and cover gaps in defence, quickness 33-year-old Nacho Monreal doesn't possess.

Tierney can also operate at centre-back, a position that remains a glaring weakness in Emery's squad. It's a problem that's taken Arsenal to considering a move for Chelsea's David Luiz before the deadline on Thursday, per David Ornstein and Simon Stone of BBC Sport.

Landing Tierney would bring to an end a protracted and thorough pursuit of a target the Gunners have long admired:

Charles Watts @charles_watts

Kieran Tierney is (finally) set to be an Arsenal player. Deal agreed with Celtic, five-year contract - should he pass his medical. https://t.co/uakgpT6BmR

Charles Watts @charles_watts

This ends a long chase for Arsenal, interest in Tierney goes back an awful long way. They have scouted him extensively and have finally got their man. A lot of groundwork had already been done before this summer.

Passing a medical remains the next step, a potentially daunting one since Tierney has endured his share of injury problems. Celtic boss Neil Lennon recently said Tierney will "be fit in a week or two. He still has some abductor pain, but I think the pubic problem is starting to settle and he's over the double hernia," per Craig Swan of the Daily Record.

If all goes well, Arsenal will get a player who can bolster the defence in a variety of ways, but Celtic appear sure to miss Tierney. The Hoops were given an uncomfortable glimpse of what life without him will be like during Wednesday's 1-1 draw away to Cluj in the UEFA Champions League qualifying phase:

Anton Toloui @SkyAnton

Can’t help but feel Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo’s performance so far tonight for Celtic should put an extra couple of million on Kieran Tierney’s value. I still think £25m for him is a potential snip for #AFC.

Barry Anderson @BarryAnderson_

As Kieran Tierney flies south to join Arsenal, Boli Bolingoli is in Cluj making Anton Rogan look like Paolo Maldini. #Celtic will surely be looking for a new left-back before the transfer window shuts in Scotland.

Securing a deal at long last would cap a solid window for the Gunners. The north London club have already broken their transfer record to recruit prolific winger Nicolas Pepe and acquired Real Madrid playmaker Dani Ceballos on loan.

Tierney could become the next young cornerstone of a defence set to be underpinned by imposing centre-back William Saliba in 2020, after Arsenal signed the Frenchman and loaned him back to Saint-Etienne for this season.