Premier League • England

Exclusive: One club ruled out of Kieran Tierney chase – but Arsenal quandary leaves Mikel Arteta torn

Kieran Tierney raising his hand during an Arsenal warm up

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta remains uncertain over whether to sell Kieran Tierney this summer – and TEAMtalk can reveal that one club is likely to be already out of the transfer equation for the Scottish full-back.

Tierney’s game-time at Arsenal this season has been limited. The arrival of Oleksandr Zinchenko from Manchester City has pushed him down the pecking order, leading to claims that a summer move could be on the cards.

Indeed, Ben Jacobs revealed to TEAMtalk last week that Aston Villa and Newcastle were among the clubs considering moves.

However, Jacobs has revealed that Arteta is yet to make a firm decision on whether to cash in on the player.

And while his game-time has been restricted, Arteta knows that his sale will again leave Arsenal short in the area.

That said, the funds could be used to help regenerate a squad near-certain to be playing Champions League football again next season.

Revealing the dilemma Arteta faces, Jacobs told TEAMtalk: “Yeah, I think Arsenal gonna have a busy summer incomings and outgoings. And if they qualify for the Champions League that will allow them to have a very ambitious summer. They’ll need it as well because they will want to strengthen in a number of key areas.

“And while Jorginho came in, Arsenal will still be looking to strengthen their midfield.

“But they’ll also be considering an element of a clearout as well to make sure that the squad isn’t too big in certain areas and positions.

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Tierney talks with Arteta over Arsenal future

“Kieran Tierney is the most interesting one for me. He’s been playing left-back in the Europa League, but in the Premier League, Oleksandr Zinchenko has come in and obviously taken his place.

“And even though Tierney has made a healthy amount of appearances, I think he’s only started four Premier League games.

“With those minutes diminished, he will be assessing his options.”

Jacobs continued: “My understanding with Tierney is that he held face to face talks with Arteta to try and better understand his future. Those talks saw the player just being told to fight for his place and that he’s still valued by Arsenal. So from Mikel Arteta’s point of view, I still believe that he’s relatively undecided as to whether to let Tierney go.

“But if you’re Tierney, you’re thinking about your game time. He’s in his mid-20s. So there is a very realistic possibility that he leaves if the right offer comes in over the course of the summer.

“And that’s where I think Newcastle are the ones to watch because they’ve got Matt Targett and Dan Burn. But anyhow, I understand that Eddie Howe is still looking to strengthen in the left-back position. And if Newcastle make European, or of course in a best-case scenario Champions League football, left-back is definitely the type of area where there’s room for improvement. Tierney may see that as a real opportunity.

“Aston Villa have been a club that have also inquired but I think that Tierney will still want European football. So personally – and it is only my view – I’d be surprised if Tierney drops down to a club in his mid-20s after impressing for Arsenal – let’s not forget last season – that doesn’t offer European football.”

Monaco a surprise contender for Gunners star

With Aston Villa seemingly out the chase, one club who could offer Tierney a surprise exit route are French giants Monaco.

Jacobs added: “I’m also told that there’s a bit of interest away from the Premier League. Monaco could be ones to watch, especially if Caio Henrique ends up leaving. There’s a fair amount of interest in him as well!

“So that one will be a balance between what the player wants versus what Arsenal want.

“Really, you know, Arsenal would love to have their cake and eat it and keep Tierney for depth. But at the moment, he’s not going to be supplanting Oleksandr Zinchenko at left-back. And as a result, his game time has been very much limited.”

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