Brendan Rodgers has responded to suggestions Kieran Tierney could make a sensational return to Celtic, refusing to rule out a possible reunion with his former player saying “you should never say never in football”.
The 26-year-old joined Arsenal from the Scottish champions in 2019 on a £25m transfer.
After a promising start at the Emirates Stadium, Tierney would go on to become an integral member of Arteta’s team, signing a new five-year deal in 2021, which Mail Sport understand sees him earn £100,000 a week.
Since joining, he has scored five goals in 123 appearances for the football club, but has struggled in recent years to live up to his former form, and that has led to some speculation earlier this year. season that Arsenal might be willing to listen to offers for him.
And one team being linked with Tierney is his old team Celtic, with new manager Rodgers admitting that while his team can’t afford Tierney’s salary, he wouldn’t rule out a move for the Scotland international.
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers (right) has said he would not rule out a potential move for Kieran Tierney (left) from Arsenal.
The Celtic academy graduate (pictured) joined the Gunners in 2019 and despite an excellent first few seasons, the defender has struggled to get regular playing time under Mikel Arteta.
Tierney won five Scottish League titles and three Scottish Cups with Celtic before moving to Arsenal.
“There have been a lot of players linked here with me coming back,” Rodgers was quoted as saying. The subway. “All I know is that Kieran is like me, he loved our time here,” Rodgers said when asked about the transfer links.
“When I spoke to him in the Premier League, every time we met we only talked about Celtic. He’s a Celtic man, but he’s at a fantastic club in Arsenal.
The Northern Irishman managed Tierney during his first spell at the club, and the pair won several Scottish league titles during that time.
And while Rodgers didn’t openly admit Tierney was a target, he didn’t refuse to rule out a transfer: “You can never say never in football.” Who knows what could happen? We couldn’t buy Kieran for £25-£30m, that’s for sure, or the figures I see on the wings.
I’m pretty sure we couldn’t afford the huge salary he has. However, one can never know.
While Tierney has plenty of quality, injuries have slowed him down in recent years.
A cartilage problem in the knee required surgery in particular and saw the winger spend time on the wings back in 2022, which led Arteta to sign new reinforcements that have come in the form of Oleksandr Zinchenko.
And he has since slipped down the pecking order, at position, notably, he was named in the Arsenal squad for 38 games last season but started just six games, a far cry from his second season at the club that He started 26 of the 27 league games for which he was available.
Following the arrival of Oleksandr Zinchenko (centre), Tierney has struggled to get regular playing time for the Gunners, raising questions about whether he could leave the club.
And Celtic’s new manager, Rodgers (pictured), didn’t rule out the move, but remained realistic about whether his team could afford Tierney.
The defender signed a five-year contract extension with Arsenal in 2021 and Mail Sport understands that that nets him around £100,000 a week.
“What I would say is that we already have a couple of good left-backs here,” added Rodgers, who joined Celtic in June. “I’m really impressed with the young Greg Taylor.
“To see him come in and establish himself at Celtic, it’s been great. Bernabéi is still young and adjusting, but I’ve liked those two over the course of pre-season.
‘Kieran has an incredible history with the club. It was a big part of my time here, so there will always be that bond. You never know.’
It comes after former Celtic boss Neil Lennon called attempts to lure Tierney back to Celtic a “long shot” amid much speculation about the defender’s future at the club.
Manchester City have also taken an interest in Tierney, while there is also the possibility of him meeting another former manager, Unai Emery, with the now Villa boss initially bringing the Celtic academy graduate to the club in 2019.