Arsenal set to see £20m transfer deal involving their ‘future captain’ collapse | Football | Sport


Real Sociedad are reportedly unlikely to activate their £20m clause to sign Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney on a permanent deal, leaving the Scotland international’s future unclear heading into the summer transfer window. Tierney has spent this season on loan with the La Liga club but his campaign has been blighted by injuries.

The 26-year-old suffered a hamstring tear in October which ruled him out for over a month. He also failed to feature in La Real’s Champions League last-16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain, missing the first leg through injury before being an unused substitute in the reverse fixture.

Tierney has played in only 11 of the club’s 28 La Liga matches. The Basque club signed Javi Galan on loan from Atletico Madrid in January, which could further limit Tierney’s involvement in the season’s run-in.

The former Celtic player is unlikely to figure as part of Mikel Arteta’s plans when he returns to Arsenal. Oleksandr Zinchenko was the first-choice left-back when Tierney joined Real Sociedad on loan, while Jakub Kiwior has subsequently impressed in the position in recent weeks. Jurrien Timber, who has missed most of the season through injury, can also play in the position.

According to the Daily Briefing, Arsenal will attempt to sell Tierney permanently in the summer but face being turned down by Real Sociedad over a return to the La Liga outfit. The club have been happy with Tierney’s contribution but there are reportedly concerns over his robustness.

Tierney is now at a crossroads despite previously being hailed as a future Arsenal captain by Arteta. The Spaniard said in 2021 that Tierney could go on to lead the Gunners.

“I think he can be [captain], because he has the respect and the admiration of every member of the staff and every player,” Arteta said of Tierney, for whom Arsenal paid £25m in 2019. “It’s just the way he is, he does it in a natural way.”

The left-back admitted in February that he is unsure where his future lies. Wide-ranging reports linked him with a switch to Newcastle prior to his move to Real Sociedad last summer.

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