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'Tierney is ready for a more important club' – McLeish talks up move amid Arsenal & Napoli rumours

5:07 PM GMT+4 05/07/2019
Kieran Tierney Celtic 2018-19
The former Scotland boss believes the highly-rated Celtic left-back should be looking to take a step up in class during the current transfer window

Kieran Tierney has been told by former Scotland boss Alex McLeish that he is ready to join “a more important club than Celtic”.

The 22-year-old full-back is said to be attracting interest from across Europe, having been highly regarded for some time, but efforts to lure him away from Parkhead are being stepped up this summer.

Arsenal have led the chase, with the Gunners keen to take the defender to the Premier League, while Serie A heavyweights Napoli are also in the mix.

McLeish, who worked with Tierney during his most recent spell in charge of Scotland, is not surprised by the mounting transfer talk and he also believes the time has come for a step up the professional ladder to be made.

McLeish told CalcioNapoli24: “Tierney is ready for the big jump and to go to a more important club than Celtic.

“When his team played Barcelona, Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, he always stood out, and that makes him ready.

“He’s got attacking qualities, but is also a great defender.

“He’s very young and while he had a few injuries, there’s no particular problems.

“He’s really quick and not only a player who knows how to defend. He’s got stamina, can run many kilometres without stopping.

“We’re talking about a real athlete. [Carlo] Ancelotti has the right qualities to get the best out of Tierney’s potential, and Napoli would be a great step for him.”

Arsenal have left the transfer door ajar for Napoli.

The Gunners have opened the bidding for the Celtic defender, but are considered to be some way short of meeting his valuation.

Bhoys boss Neil Lennon has said: "Arsenal are aware of what we value the player at. He’s on a long-term contract, he’s an asset and we don’t want to sell him.

“It’s going to have to take a lot more than what they’ve offered the first time around to give us a decision to make.”

A rival could now steal in, with those at Emirates Stadium needing to step up their efforts if they are to ensure that Tierney remains in British football if a move is made in the current window.