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Aston Villa to rival Newcastle United for Arsenal's Kieran Tierney?

Aston Villa to rival Newcastle for Kieran Tierney?
© Reuters
Aston Villa reportedly prepare to rival Newcastle United for the signature of Arsenal left-back Kieran Tierney, who is set to leave the Emirates this summer.

Aston Villa are reportedly preparing to go head-to-head with Newcastle United for the signature of Arsenal left-back Kieran Tierney.

The Scotland international's injury-hit four years at the Emirates Stadium could come to an end this summer after he was demoted to second choice by Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Given the Ukrainian's strong form in an inverted role during his debut season, Tierney was restricted to just six Premier League starts, the last of which came in their 3-0 loss to Brighton & Hove Albion.

Even when Zinchenko missed the Gunners' final two games of the campaign against Nottingham Forest and Wolverhampton Wanderers with a calf injury, Tierney was not considered for promotion from the bench, as Jakub Kiwior was given the nod at left-back.

The 25-year-old played just 37 minutes as a substitute in those two matches, although he remained a key player in the Europa League with one goal and one assist in six group-stage starts.

Arsenal's Kieran Tierney celebrates scoring against FC Zurich on November 3, 2022© Reuters

However, with Zinchenko quickly becoming Mikel Arteta's first-choice left-back in the Premier League, Tierney is being tipped to move on in search of regular game time.

Newcastle have long been regarded the favourites to prise Tierney away from North London, while Manchester City were also briefly credited with an interest in his services.

Now, The Times reports that Aston Villa have thrown their hat into the ring, as Unai Emery seeks a reunion with the man that he brought to Arsenal in the summer of 2019.

Tierney immediately became a regular starter for the Gunners during Emery's short-lived tenure, but injuries have continuously bedevilled him over the past four seasons.

Nevertheless, Emery is said to remain a big fan of the Scotsman, who is heading for the exit door after holding crunch talks with Arsenal manager Arteta.

Kieran Tierney in action for Arsenal on July 8, 2022© Reuters

However, Newcastle are still said to be leading the race for Tierney, who is contracted to Arsenal until 2026 and could command a fee of at least £30m to depart this summer.

The former Celtic man has scored five goals and set up 14 more in 123 matches for the Gunners since joining four years ago, winning one FA Cup and the Community Shield in the process.

Tierney could be one of a plethora of players to depart the Emirates this summer, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles - another left-back option - already confirming his imminent exit on a free transfer.

Pablo Mari is also set to join Monza permanently after the Serie A club avoided relegation to the second tier, while midfield starlet Charlie Patino is apparently set to depart also.

Folarin Balogun, Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Cedric Soares, Nicolas Pepe and Rob Holding could all be on the chopping block over the coming weeks, as Arteta seeks to raise funds for an ambitious double swoop for West Ham United's Declan Rice and Brighton & Hove Albion's Moises Caicedo.

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