KIERAN TIERNEY has quit the Celtic training camp in Austria to return to Scotland.
The left-back, who is still on Arsenal’s wanted list despite their original and derisory £15million bid being rejected, will miss out as Celtic continue their preparations in Switzerland.
However, Neil Lennon insisted there was nothing sinister about the 22-year-old defender’s departure.
Tierney has done little work on the training pitch since arriving at the pre-season camp following his double hernia operation last month.
The Hoops boss revealed: “Kieran has gone back to finish off his rehab.”
As the Gunners, with a transfer budget of £45million following their failure to win a place in the Champions League, prepare for a more realistic offer, former Parkhead striker Chris Sutton reckoned the fans’ favourite should not be sold for anything less than a whopping £35million.
The Englishman, speaking in the Daily Record, said: “Kieran Tierney should be insulted by Arsenal’s bids for him. Celtic and Scottish football should also be seeing disrespect in what the Gunners are offering.
“Yet again I’m having the same argument I’ve been having year-on-year since Virgil van Dijk was inexplicably allowed to leave Celtic for a fee of £13million in the summer of 2015.
“Nothing has changed. English clubs believed then they could get away with transfer market murder and they still do.
“Fair enough, all clubs start low in a bidding process, but £15million for Tierney smacks of disgusting contempt. Not just for Celtic and Scottish football but for the boy.
“If I were Tierney I would be wondering if they really rated me at all given the figures which are flying around south of the border.”
Sutton says the difference in valuation between Tierney and Manchester United new boy Aaron Wan-Bissaka, as well as Leicester’s Ben Chilwell, is “scandalous”.
ON THE RUN…Kieran Tierney hopes to be back in action soon.
He added: “Manchester United are paying £55million to land Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace. Leicester are looking to get about £70million for Chilwell if he goes.
“Both of those boys have had roughly one good season each in the English Premier League and that’s the fees?
“Are you trying to tell me that Chilwell is four times better than Tierney? Or that Wan-Bissaka is three times as good?
“I like the pair of them. Wan-Bissaka is an excellent prospect who needs a bit of work with his delivery in the final third to get to the levels Andy Robertson is reaching at Liverpool.
“Funnily enough, the same goes for Tierney. He needs a bit of work to get to the very top.
“But that’s my point. Tierney isn’t the finished article, yet neither is Wan-Bissaka and the discrepancy in fees is scandalous.
“Whatever way you look at it and however you see the level of the Scottish league, it’s nigh-on impossible to get to a final figure of £15million.
“It’s mocking Scottish football. It’s scornful to Celtic and disrespectful to the player.
“There is a halfway house here. Arsenal think they can get Tierney for around £20million. Wan Bissaka has gone for around £50million.
That means the meet in the middle figure should be at the £35million mark.
“And, if Celtic accept anything significantly less than that for Tierney, then they have been insulted again just as they were over the sale of Van Dijk.”