What next for Kieran Tierney as Arsenal transfer exit route closes for ex Celtic star

Scotland and Arsenal star Kieran Tierney
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Kieran Tierney's Arsenal career appears to be all but over as the Scotland defender seeks a permanent exit this summer.

Tierney has fallen completely out of the picture at the Emirates as a result of injury setbacks and Mikel Arteta's tactical evolution. Once touted as a future Gunners captain, the ex-Celtic star found himself shunted to the periphery following the arrival of Oleksandr Zinchenko in 2022.

The versatile left-back - who has also been deployed as a central defender by Scotland boss Steve Clarke - was farmed out on a year-long loan to Real Sociedad last season as he attempted to kickstart his career. And despite establishing himself as a key player for the La Liga high-flyers, recurring hamstring issues limited his game time to just 27 appearances.

Tierney's injury curse struck again at the Euros as the defender was forced off during the 1-1 draw with Switzerland. KT confessed he was left "heartbroken" by his latest fitness woes and it remains to be seen how long the 27-year-old will be sidelined.

Well-liked by the Arsenal faithful, it's become clear that Tierney's future lies away from North London as Arteta closes in on another left-sided defender. It's believed the Premier League runners-up are pursuing a deal for Bologna and Italy star Riccardo Calafiori which would push Tierney even further down the pecking order.

And a return to Sociedad looks to be off the table as the White and Blues close in on a £8million-plus deal for Manchester City left-back Sergio Gomes on a four-year deal. It's said that Arsenal are prepared to cut their losses on Tierney by accepting just £10m for a player they shelled out £25m on to bring from Parkhead in 2019.

In a recent interview, the Celtic diehard admitted he'd love to return to his boyhood heroes if his body allowed him to reach the same levels as his previous trophy-laden spell.

He said: "I still miss it but I knew life would never be the same. I was living my dream. Being a footballer is the dream but playing for Celtic was the ultimate. I left that to go and challenge myself in the Premier League and come up against the best to see how I’d cope. If I go back, I want to be feeling how I did there before.

"I’ll be a different player to what I was, as I’ve been away for years, but I wouldn’t want to go back if I wasn’t feeling 100 per cent in my body. I know the intensity and the demand to win so, if I go back, it will be when I’m still feeling good."