Arsenal target Tierney billed as better than Van Dijk by former Celtic boss

Ronny Deila, who handed the highly-rated left-back his debut for the Scottish champions, believes he boasts greater potential than a Liverpool star

Kieran Tierney has been billed as better than Virgil van Dijk by former Celtic boss Ronny Deila, with Arsenal told they would be getting a “really, really good” player if a deal can be done.

The Gunners have indentified the Scotland international left-back as a top target for the summer transfer window.

It has been confirmed to Goal that an offer from Emirates Stadium for the 22-year-old defender worth £25 million ($31m) has been knocked back by Celtic.

Deila can understand why the Scottish champions are eager to hold out for the best possible deal, with Tierney a player that boasts greater potential than a former Hoops star currently starring for Liverpool on the back of a record-breaking £75m ($93m) transfer.

The Norwegian coach, who handed Tierney his Hoops debut back in 2015, told the Scottish Sun: “Kieran would be really, really good at Arsenal — I know it.

“He needs to improve a little bit technically, still. But at the same time he has everything else already and will learn the rest.

“I think Kieran has an even better mentality than Virgil. That’s what I saw at that time.

“Virgil, of course, has gone on to a different level since leaving Celtic, but at the time I worked with them both Kieran was even better.

“They both had the physical attributes to play at the highest level. Virgil had everything. But Tierney has the same.”

It remains to be seen whether Arsenal will be tabling a third bid in their efforts to prise Tierney away from Parkhead.

Gunners boss Unai Emery has called for patience from supporters of his club as they endeavour to get fresh faces on board.

Celtic, meanwhile, are waiting to discover whether they will be left with a sizeable void to fill in their squad and how much they will have to spend if a prized asset is lured down to north London.

There have been calls for all concerned to find a resolution to a long-running saga as quickly as possible, with the current uncertainty doing nobody any favours.