Arsenal star holds Arteta showdown talks as Emery encourages Aston Villa to derail Newcastle bid

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta

Arsenal are now expected to sell Kieran Tierney this summer after he asked Mikel Arteta about his future, according to a report – yet he could stay in the Premier League.

Tierney joined Arsenal from Celtic in 2019 and was their first-choice left-back until this season, when summer signing Oleksandr Zinchenko overtook him in the pecking order. In turn, the Scotland international has since been considering his future.

About to turn 26, Tierney is too good to be limited to six Premier League starts in a single season. But that is what happened for him in 2022-23, when Arsenal fell short in their shock title challenge.

Despite being under contract until 2026, it now looks likely that Tierney will leave Arsenal this summer. In recent days, he has been the subject of speculation about a move to Newcastle.

Choosing that exit route would allow him to participate in the Champions League, a competition Arsenal have also qualified for next season.

An update from The Times has confirmed that Newcastle are indeed contenders to sign Tierney. However, the report reminds that Aston Villa are getting increasingly serious about signing him instead.

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Unai Emery was Arsenal’s manager when Tierney initially came to the Premier League. They only got to work together for a few months, though, before Emery lost his job and Arteta came in to replace him.

Since then, Emery has restored his reputation in Spain and earned widespread credit for the job he has recently been doing back in the Premier League with Aston Villa.

Indeed, since replacing Steven Gerrard at Villa Park, Emery has led the club into Europe, securing involvement in next season’s Conference League.

Aston Villa increasingly keen on Tierney

Now, he has inspired Villa to show a ‘strong interest’ in Tierney, despite Newcastle still being his ‘expected destination’, per the report.

Whichever way he goes, it seems almost certain that Tierney will be on the move in 2023. According to The Times, he has held talks with Arteta about his future, which has led to the verdict that he is now likely to depart.

How Arsenal replace him remains to be seen – there have been links with another raid on Man City for Joao Cancelo – as does how much they will be able to raise by selling him.

But his destiny seems to be away from the Emirates Stadium. While Newcastle remain in pole position, Aston Villa are worth keeping a close eye on.

Newcastle’s current main left-backs are Dan Burn and Matt Targett, whom they actually signed from Villa – who responded by buying Lucas Digne and Alex Moreno.

But there are now doubts about Digne’s future, which could lead to an opening in the Villa squad for another left-back.

Emery’s side have also confirmed that the versatile Ashley Young, who could be another option at full-back, is leaving the club at the end of his contract.