Arsenal target Kieran Tierney jets off to Austria for pre-season training as Celtic demand improved bid of almost £25m for wanted Scotland defender
- Celtic defender Kieran Tierney boarded the plane on Monday for pre-season
- The treble winners flew out to Austria as they prepare to commence training
- Tierney is a target for Arsenal but they are yet to agree a price with Celtic
- The Gunners opening bid of £15m was rejected as the Scottish side want £25m
Kieran Tierney travelled with Celtic to Austria for their pre-season training camp on Monday night – but there was no sign of Tom Rogic or David Turnbull.
The subject of a failed £15million opening bid from Arsenal, Tierney will face the biggest decision of his career if Unai Emery sanctions an improved offer of closer to £25m in the coming days.
The lifelong Celtic supporter has previously stated he has no desire to play his football anywhere than Parkhead – but the opportunity to pull on the shirt of a top-six English club would present an obvious dilemma.
Kieran Tierney travelled to Austria with Celtic despite ongoing interest from Arsenal
The Premier League side saw an opening bid of £15m rejected as Celtic want closer to £25m
The fact that Andy Robertson has conquered Europe since moving to Liverpool will doubtless feature in Tierney’s thinking, although the Scotland captain rubbished suggestions he’d told Tierney he should move to England for the sake of his career.
Until Arsenal match Celtic’s asking price there is no question for Tierney to answer, however, and he looks set to continue his rehab from a double hernia operation in the next nine days.
Rogic, though, didn’t travel – putting a question mark over his involvement in the first Champions League qualifier with Sarajevo in a fortnight.
Tierney is a lifelong Celtic supporter but may be tempted by a move to the Premier League
It’s understood the Australian wasn’t involved in full training when the squad gathered back at Lennoxtown last Monday and he appears to be a doubt for the opener with the Bosnians.
Turnbull, too, didn’t fly out after a protracted medical following his £3m transfer from Motherwell.
Initially expected to be confirmed last Friday, the club remain confident the matter will be official any day now. Meanwhile, Neil Lennon has told his emerging players that they must toughen up to stay in his plans.
The Celtic manager is concerned that the likes of Mikey Johnston has struggled to finish games while others have suffered untimely injuries.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery is keen on Tierney as he looks to improve his full-back options
‘It’s a big season for Michael,’ he said. ‘I like him. He needs to get fitter and more robust, and he’s been told that.’
On the back of making his debut against Hearts at the end of the season, Karamoko Dembele is also part of the travelling squad.
Lennon, who has no plans to run his eye over trialists, sees no reason why the midfielder, 16, can’t become a more regular fixture this season.
‘Karamoko is part of the first-team squad,’ he said.
‘We have to be very mindful of his age but you don’t want to curtail talent either.’
Talented midfielder Karamoko Dembele, 16, was part of Celtic’s travelling squad on Monday
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