Football Features

Celtic reject Arsenal bid for Tierney: Key facts, stats & quotes behind the latest transfer news

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 15:57, 23 June 2019

Business is really starting to pick up.

With pre-season – and Uefa club competition qualifiers – around the corner teams across Europe have started shaping their respective squads.

Real Madrid, determined to put the disappointment of 2018/19 behind them, have been the most active and they could still complete further moves.

Here at Squawka, we’ve compiled a list of the hottest transfer rumours in football right now and graded how likely they are to happen.

Read on for the key stats, facts and quotes behind this week’s transfer news.

1. Celtic reject Tierney bid from Arsenal – The story in five key facts…

  • Tierney joined Celtic’s youth academy in 2005 aged seven and made his senior debut a decade later.
  • Tierney has since made 170 appearances for the club registering eight goals and 37 assists.
  • Arsenal, according to BBC Sport, had a £15m bid rejected but expected to return with an improved offer.
  • So far, the full-back has won five league titles and six domestic cups with his boyhood club.
  • The Gunners will not play Champions League football next season and Unai Emery does not have a huge transfer budget to work with.

I’ll never be in a hurry to leave this club. No matter what the situation is. But I can’t predict what will happen in the future.

Tierney speaking to The Herald (August, 2018)

Key stat: Tierney is the only player to be named PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year in three consecutive seasons.

Could it happen? This is an interesting one and much depends on the player in question. Celtic, obviously, don’t want to sell and Tierney – a lifelong fan – seems keen to remain in Glasgow and make it nine in a row. If, of course, he feels already satisfied with all that’s been achieved then moving to England’s top division is a strong possibility though Arsenal’s lack of Champions League football could be a sticking point.

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2. Aaron Wan-Bissaka to swap Palace for Man Utd? The story in five key facts…

  • Wan-Bissaka graduated from Crystal Palace’s youth set-up and made his senior debut in February 2018.
  • The right-back has gone on to make 46 appearances in all competitions.
  • His performances have attracted a number of teams including Manchester United.
  • A report from the Evening Standard suggests the Red Devils want a deal completed very soon.
  • He was dropped for England Under-21s’ defeat to Romania after scoring an own goal against France.

I am with Crystal Palace at the moment. That is where my contract is and that is where I will be next season. I have got three left on my contract. It says I am going to be there, so that is all I can focus on now.

Wan-Bissaka on his Palace future (June, 2019)

Key stat: Wan-Bissaka was the first player in Europe’s top-five leagues in 2018/19 to make 100+ tackles.

Could it happen? Everyone in football has a price. Palace, understandably, don’t want to lose their promising right-back and have reportedly slapped an eye-watering price tag on him which only a few clubs, including Manchester United, can meet. Wan-Bissaka’s present deal at Selhurst Park expires in June 2022 and from a recent interview doesn’t seem to be in a rush for the exit door, though moving to Old Trafford – despite United’s current predicament – still represents a step up.

3. De Ligt to choose Juventus? The story in five key facts…

  • Came through Ajax’s legendary academy to become their youngest ever captain.
  • Played an instrumental role in Ajax’s run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018/19.
  • Won the ‘Golden Boy’ award in 2018.
  • Barcelona, PSG and Man Utd have been strongly linked with his signature.
  • Juventus, according to Marca, have stolen a march on their rivals as Barcelona are not willing to meet the defender’s wage demands.

My decision will be based on what would be best for my career. Where can I develop myself the best way? Where do I get to play the most? I will base my choice on that. I don’t know when I will make my decision but I prefer to start pre-season with my new club, or Ajax. As long as I have a contract at Ajax, there’s definitely a chance I will stay.

De Ligt on his next move (May, 2019)

Key stat: De Ligt is the youngest Ajax player to make 100+ appearances for the club.

Could it happen? Ajax boss Erik ten Hag recently gave the Amsterdammers a 0% chance of retaining their inspirational leader which, understandably, put Europe’s super clubs on notice. Barcelona, Man Utd and PSG were all strongly linked before Juventus strode in and reportedly had the best papers to prize him away from the Dutch capital. De Ligt, himself, wants to be starting every week next season and Juve – given their ageing, but stellar, centre-backs – could offer him that chance unlike PSG and, to some extent, Barça.

4. Is João Félix Atletico bound? The story in five key facts…

  • Félix joined Benfica’s academy from FC Porto in July 2015.
  • A deep-lying forward, Félix can play as an attacking midfielder or winger.
  • Felix made his Benfica debut in August 2018 (2-0 win at Boavista).
  • He’s since made a total of 43 appearances; scoring 20 goals and creating 11.
  • Félix has been capped once at senior international level (v 3-1 v Switzerland).

My dream has always been to play for the biggest clubs in Europe. Spain or England? I would prefer to play in Spain.

Félix on narrowing down his future destination (March, 2019)

Key stat: Only three players outscored Félix (15) in the 2018/19 Primeira Liga season.

Could it happen? A strong possibility if Atletico, who see Felix as Antoine Griezmann’s successor, activate his £105m release clause. However, when it comes to his long-term future, the Portuguese forward is chilled given that newly-crowned domestic champions Benfica can offer him a quiet stage to continue his development.

5. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic moving to PSG? The story in five key facts…

  • A graduate of FK Vojvodina Novi Sad’s academy, whom he joined in August 2006.
  • The Spanish-born midfielder relocated to Belgian outfit Genk in the summer of 2014.
  • Lazio parted with £16.2m to bring him to the Italian capital in 2015.
  • To date, he’s featured in 162 matches for the Eagles and has been involved in 49 goals, scoring 31 of those himself.
  • Paris Saint-Germain, according to Corriere dello Sport, have offered £53.6m for his services.

Milinkovic-Savic? At Lazio, we keep only those who want to stay at the club. If the player expresses his intention to explore a new adventure, we will not oppose him.

Lazio president Claudio Lotito on Milinkovic-Savic’s potential exit (June 2019)

Key stat: No Lazio player won more aerial duels (113/208) than Milinkovic-Savic in 2018/19.

Could it happen? If Lazio owner Lotito is to be believed then they are not standing in his way regarding leaving the club this summer. A year ago, Milinkovic-Savic was among Europe’s most wanted players, but a modest 2018/19 campaign has cooled interest from some of the big hitters, but not PSG who are determined to bolster their midfield in an aim to win the Champions League.

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