herald

Sunday 18 August 2019

Lennon has plan in case Tierney goes to Gunners

Neil Lennon
Neil Lennon

Neil Lennon insists Celtic will not be caught cold if Arsenal make a late move for Kieran Tierney.

The £25million-rated left-back has been the subject of two failed bids from the Gunners but Lennon confirmed he has already drawn up contingency plans in case the 22-year-old is prised away from his boyhood club.

Reports say Emirates boss Unai Emery is ready to revive his interest in the Scotland international but the Spaniard has just 13 days to make his move before the Premier League transfer deadline on August 8.

But with Scottish clubs able to continue signing players up to September 2, Hoops boss Lennon is confident he has enough time to reinvest in his squad should Arsenal return to the table with an acceptable offer.

Lennon, speaking as he officially opened the Celtic Festival at Glasgow's SEC, said: "We obviously have contingency plans and have worked out other options if that worst-case scenario were to happen.

"So yes, having that extra two or three weeks later on in the window may be beneficial but as far as I'm aware there have been no (more bids)."

Lennon is desperate to keep hold of Tierney but admits he has no idea if he will get his wish.

"There's a lot of speculation obviously and that's going to rumble on," said the Northern Irishman. "I've been answering the same questions over and over in every press conference.

"You can't predict these things. If there is interest in him then other clubs may come in or Arsenal may come again. I can't predict that.

Tierney remains sidelined after his double hernia operation but his absence did not hurt Celtic's Champions League hopes as they hammered latest qualifying opponents Nomme Kalju 5-0 on Wednesday.

Lennon will now ring the changes for next Tuesday's second-leg in Estonia to boost the fitness of squad, with £7million summer recruit Christopher Jullien pencilled in for his Hoops debut.

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