Unai Emery backed in pursuit of £25m-rated versatile full-back

Charlie Nicholas insists Celtic captain Kieran Tierney would be a welcome addition at his former side Arsenal, who are keen to strengthen their defensive options during the window and Scotland international has emerged as a top target.

The Gunners have already had one offer for the left-back turned down but intend to test Celtic’s resolve with an improved offer in the coming days. Charlie Nicholas expected Kieran Tierney to remain at Celtic when the 2018-19 campaign ended but insists he would be an ‘improvement’ on Arsenal’s current options.

‘I thought Kieran Tierney would want to stay at Celtic,’ the Gunners legend told Sky Sports’ transfer podcast. ‘He’s a die-hard Celtic fan, they’ve got eight in a row wrapped up, they want to go and do nine, and I thought if Kieran really wanted it, if he does nine then he’ll want to do 10 and get in the history books.

‘He would be an improvement for Arsenal – there’s no doubt in my mind about that.

Meanwhile, Arsenal were confident of signing Wilfried Zaha in the summer window, but now Crystal Palace slapped £100 million price tag on the winger and that has been a signal to the north London club that the attacker is not up for sale.

Unai Emery is desperate to bolster attack with Ryan Fraser and Yannick Carrasco both linked with £30 million moves to Emirates Stadium, but the deals for the forwards did not materialise as the valuation of the players seemed too much for Arsenal chiefs.