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Kieran Tierney: Celtic in ‘strong position’ over asset, Neil Lennon

Neil Lennon says Celtic are in a ‘strong position’ in Kieran Tierney negotiations

Celtic will not be “pushed over” into selling Kieran Tierney for less than what the Scottish champions believe he is worth, insists manager Neil Lennon.

Arsenal had a second offer of around £25m rejected on Monday for the Scotland left-back with talks ongoing.

Lennon cited Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s £50m switch to Manchester United, claiming Tierney, 22, is a more “rounded” full-back.

“We can’t do anything about what clubs do in England,” he said.

“£50m for Wan-Bissaka is a lot of money and we feel that Kieran is a far more experienced and rounded full-back at this juncture in his career.

“He’s an asset for us and we do have a value for the player and we rate the player very highly.

“So disrespectful is the wrong word but we’re certainly not going to be pushed over in any negotiations and we’re in a very strong position with regards to a number of our assets in the team.

“The club’s valuation of Kieran has not been met and until then we don’t have a discussion.”

Tierney is recovering from a summer hernia operation, with Lennon saying the defender is “a few weeks away” from joining the rest of the squad for training.

“He’s a great player, a great talent,” added Lennon. “At 22, he’s already achieved a hell of a lot and he has so much more to give to the game.

“He’s our player. He’s on a long-term contract. While it’s a backhanded compliment for all the hard work people here have done over the years with Kieran, we don’t want him to go.

“Some of the players who have left here in the last few years have gone on to do all right in the English Premier League. We think we know what we’re doing in terms of developing players.

“But we don’t want them in the Premier League, we want them here with us playing in the Champions League.”

‘No issue’ with Ntcham

Last week, Lennon expressed frustration with comments attributed to Olivier Ntcham, with the French midfielder quoted as saying he was disappointed not to join Porto last season, flattered to be linked with Marseille and that Scottish football was not challenging enough.

“We had a private chat,” said the manager. “There is no issue now.

“He was disappointed with the way it came across. That wasn’t his intention.”

Asked if Ntcham was part of plans, Lennon replied “absolutely, yeah”, adding that he should be available next week if Celtic progress in Champions League qualifying having been given time to rest after the European Under-21 Championship.

Celtic take a 3-1 lead into Wednesday’s second leg at home to FK Sarajevo.

Original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/49005486

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