Celtic must not entertain any offers for Kieran Tierney
Celtic have reportedly rejected an offer of £!5 million from Arsenal for full back Kieran Tierney, as low ball an offer as you can get from an English Premier League side looking to sign a proven Champions League and International player.
Forget for a minute that Tierney plays in the Scottish Premiership, he has a wealth of experience in the Champions League playing against the likes of Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Barcelona et al - not to mention playing for Scotland against some of the cream of world football - and not looking out of place at all.
Injuries hampered him last season as it did with many of the Celtic squad, but with his double hernia operation being a success and a well earned rest - Tierney should be back to his best come the start of this season.
A season that will be historic for Celtic if the manage to win the title again. Their ninth-in-a-row, equalling Jock Stein’s record and one away from a tenth - a feat that not only alluded Stein, but even a Rangers side under Walter Smith fuelled by bank loans from David Murray’s pals at the Bank of Scotland.
So why would Tierney leave Celtic for Arsenal other than a significantly higher wage? In two year’s time, when Scott Brown eventually hangs up his boots at Celtic, Tierney could very well be the next Celtic captain. A dream come true for any Celtic fan, none more so than Tierney - who epitomises everything that Celtic stands for and one who lives and breaths the club.
Some players grow into a club, they get what the club means over time, but Tierney is a player that was born into the club. Just like Paul McStay, just like Tommy Burns, just like Billy McNeill and a whole host of others.
Now I’m not saying that Tierney will not leave the club, there will be a time when the full back will decide that he has achieved everything he can at Celtic and will want to take his game to the next level - and the perfect time would be when he helps Celtic to ten-in-a-row.
The 22-year-old may have hit the scene early after being given his chance and shown faith by Ronny Deila, and despite all the superb performances he has put in at the club - he has still to hit his full potential and peak.
And this is what Celtic need to look at. They have a kid who gets the club, who is clearly captain material in waiting, the fans adore him as he is one of their own, he is one of the first names on the team sheet and his wealth of experience at all levels is invaluable. He lives and breaths Celtic as did Paul McStay, Billy McNeill and Tommy Burns.
The club can have all of that rolled into one player donning the jersey week in week out or they can bank a few million that will be soaked up over the course of a season - with them paying out on scouts and agents trying to source a ready made replacement - which would be nigh on impossible without spending a significant amount of that transfer fee, which the club would never do.
For Arsenal to offer £15 million along with four players - clearly worse than Tierney - is frankly insulting and the sheer height of arrogance. Especially given the number of players that English clubs have snapped up over the years from the Scottish champions - including Victor Wanyama, Fraser Forster, Virgil van Dijk and many more.
With Celtic - allegedly - quoting £25 million as the fee to sign Tierney, they have already scared off a few potential suitors including Barcelona. And this is what Celtic need to do now as a club - high ball their demands on players they don’t want to lose anytime soon. In fact, the likes of Tierney and even Callum McGregor should be signed up to longer term contracts to make them top earners at the club - that is how important both are.
It is inevitable that Celtic will sell players and one such person is Olivier Ntcham- for a fee reportedly around £!5 million - a fee for a player with one good season at the club that belittles Tierney and what he has achieved and produced time and again. Likewise Callum McGregor who has been linked with a laughable £10 million transfer to Leicester City.
Celtic are currently looking to strengthen the squad ahead of the new league season and chief executive Peter Lawwell knows that selling Tierney - even for £25 million - will severely weaken the team and more importantly outrage the Celtic support.
If he thought the failure to sign John McGinn last summer was bad, let him try to sell Kieran Tierney before achieving nine and ten titles in a row. There will be protests outside the offices, there will be mass boycotts from fans inside the stadium on match days and they will demand his exit from the club as they did so many years ago with the Kellys'.
As for Tierney, he may very well have his head turned by his agent and potential suitors sooner rather than later, but he has seen the fall out from Brendan Rodgers leaving the club in the lurch for the glitz and glamour of an average EPL side, he has seen Rodgers go from hero to snake in the space of 24 hours. If Tierney does want to go, he will want to go as a hero, as a club legend and as a history bhoy. Not as someone who turned his back on the club for a few extra quid in the bank.
No one will deny Tierney his goals in life. No one will deny him the riches that he deserves. No one will deny him the chance to play on the biggest stage in the world.
While it will be very difficult to keep him at Celtic in the long run, Celtic fans are here’s hoping he becomes a one club player and joins the ranks of Billy McNeill and Paul McStay as Celtic greats.