Arsenal full-back Kieran Tierney has emerged as a transfer target for Italian side Napoli, according to reports. The 23-year-old has been a regular starter for the Gunners this season, playing the full 90 minutes in all but two of the club’s Premier League matches.
Tierney joined Arsenal from Scottish heavyweights Celtic at the beginning of last season for a fee in the region of £24m.
He has established himself as one of the north London club’s finest defenders, impressing with his solid contributions at the back as well as in attack.
Tierney has been praised by supporters and pundits alike for his pinpoint passing ability, demonstrated during Arsenal’s FA Cup victory over Newcastle United on Saturday when he picked out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in extra time for his side’s second goal.
As a result of his strong form, the defender is attracting interest from Napoli, who are eyeing up a summer move for his services according to the Daily Telegraph.
The Serie A outfit are said to be keen on Tierney but are expected to postpone their approach until the end of the season.
It is claimed that Napoli will pursue a six-month loan deal for Chelsea outcast Emerson Palmieri in the meantime.
Arsenal would be likely to demand a huge fee in order to part ways with Tierney, given his undeniable quality and the fact that he still has plenty of room to improve at only 23 years of age.
He is contracted to the Gunners until 2024 after penning a five-year deal upon his arrival at the Emirates Stadium.
Napoli attempted to land him when it became apparent that he would be leaving Celtic, but ultimately lost out in the race for his signature.
Mikel Arteta has been impressed by Tierney’s influence this season, with the Spaniard claiming earlier this month that he could potentially be in line to skipper the side in the near future.
“Since the moment I joined the club, I have seen a player with enormous talent and with the perfect attitude and commitment,” Arteta said, as quoted by the Mirror.
“I think he can be Arsenal captain as he has the respect and admiration of every member of the staff and every player. It is just the way he is.
“He does it in a natural way. He is a really shy boy as well but he represents all of the values that we want to instil.
“He can still improve but he is a real threat in attack and really solid in defence. You see how he behaves on the pitch and when he talks he says the right thing.
“He is exactly what we are looking for and I am so happy to have him in the team.”