Nigel Winterburn on Arsenal chase for Celtic's Kieran Tierney

By David Walton

July 2, 2019

Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn’s reaction to the Kieran Tierney saga isn’t one of any real surprise.

The man who spent 13 years at Arsenal and won everything he could in England believes the Gunners can lowball their way to signing the Celtic man.

Reports have had Celtic wanting £25m for Tierney’s services (Daily Mail). Arsenal have apparently had two bids rejected in the region of £15m and over (The Times). Just yesterday, the Daily Mail stated that Napoli could be readying a package of £25m too.

Kieran Tierney remains on Arsenal’s radar (David Young/Action Plus via Getty Images)

But Arsenal haven’t exactly reacted quickly to the news either. And Winterburn, who also played for Birmingham, Wimbledon, and West Ham, thinks a deal could be done for just over £20m. Speaking to Love Sport Radio, Winterburn had this to say:

“I think somewhere closer to £20m or £22m is probably going to seal the transfer for Arsenal if they’re realistic about securing the player’s services.

“Also, it makes a big difference if the player himself has indicated to the club that it’s a move he really doesn’t want to turn down: the chance to come and play in the Premier League.

“I think when you’re talking Premier League prices now, £20m doesn’t seem a lot of money so I think it’s a fair price for a young player that has undoubted ability and could progress even further.”

Winterburn’s reaction is slightly ignorant

We’re not going to criticise the Arsenal man too much here. He clearly rates Tierney and wants Arsenal to spend more money to get him in. At the very least, he isn’t being overly-critical about Scottish talent the way some English pundits would.

But at the same time, Winterburn should remember that Arsenal have had a go at lowballing us already. If Celtic were willing to sell for £20 or close to it, a deal would likely have already been agreed.

Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn doesn’t believe the club has to pay Celtic’s £25m asking fee (Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

There’s also nothing substantial on Tierney telling Celtic that he WANTS to move down to England. It may have been reported by one source (Daily Mail), but he’s still working away on his rehabilitation work and remains Celtic to the core. If he has to stay in Scotland, he won’t make a song and dance about it like some perhaps would.

Celtic have their price for Tierney and that would appear to be that. Anything under it should surely be met with a swift kick. Any package deals that have unlikely clauses that add up to £25m should also be told where to go.

Tierney has tremendous experience at Parkhead (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

In the grand scheme of things, £25m isn’t an awful lot of money down south anymore. It’s groundbreaking to Celtic, but for Arsenal it’s simply a decent outlay.

Anything in the region of £20m-£22m shouldn’t be met with much approval from Celtic. We have our price – it’s down to Arsenal to reach it.