EXCLUSIVE: Arsenal face three-way battle for Tierney as Aston Villa eye transfer

Steve Kay
Steve Kay
  • Updated: 27 Nov 2023 21:57 GMT
  • 3 min read
Arsenal's Kieran Tierney playing for Scotland, 2023
© ProShots

Arsenal expect Kieran Tierney to return to the club at the end of his loan spell with Real Sociedad but the Spanish club are eyeing a permanent deal and Aston Villa are also monitoring the Scotland international, FootballTransfers can exclusively reveal.

Tierney was offloaded to Sociedad on loan in the summer, but manager Mikel Arteta retains a long-term interest in the player and wants him back at the Emirates Stadium for the 2024/25 season.

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The side from LaLiga, however, harbour an interest in buying the player and are likely to push to make the deal permanent at the end of the season – a possibility that the Gunners have not entirely closed the door on.

Aston Villa, however, are also very interested in the 26-year-old Arsenal star, whose contract expires in 2026, and could launch a summer transfer bid of their own.

Villa boss Unai Emery is not entirely happy with Lucas Digne at left-back, with the France international having been approached by a number of clubs from the Saudi Pro League with a view to a transfer.

Kieran Tierney, Arsenal
© ProShots - Kieran Tierney, Arsenal

Although Digne has five assists in 19 games this season, Emery is a massive fan of Tierney and was the Arsenal manager who took him to the Emirates from Celtic in 2019 for €27 million.

FootballTransfers understands that the Spaniard even tried to launch a bid for the versatile Scot during the summer, when Sociedad ultimately won the race.

Arsenal wanted Tierney to Sociedad transfer

Villa were edged out by the Spaniards as Arteta and Martin Odegaard held talks with Tierney to discuss a switch to Spain.

Although Real Sociedad were not hand-picked by Arsenal as Tierney’s destination, the manager was eager to see the player move to the Basque club because of their style of play.

Arteta was, however, adamant that there would be no obligation to buy in the loan deal.

Tierney has only managed five appearances for Real Sociedad because of injury but did make the bench for Sunday’s fixture against Sevilla as he made his return after two months out.

As things stand, he is set to be subject to a three-way transfer battle between La Real, Aston Villa and Arsenal next summer, with the Gunners in control of how that ends.

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