JOHN HARTSON insists Kieran Tierney can land Celtic a staggering £50 million in transfer fees if he stars in this season’s Champions League.
The former Hoops striker is convinced the full-back is already Manchester United’s number one signing target and could earn his old side up to £25 million if he was sold before next week’s transfer deadline.
But the Welshman believes Tierney, who be reckons can become one of Europe’s best left-backs, would be best staying put at Parkhead and continuing his sensational development.
And Hartson is certain the 20-year-old Scotland cap will have top teams in England fighting it out for his services if he keeps improving and is a stand-out against Bayern Munich, PSG and Anderlecht.
He said: “There is no doubt in my mind that clubs will come in for Kieran Tierney; I am hearing he’s Manchester United’s number one target.
“But why on earth would Brendan Rodgers sell Tierney right now?
“If I’m Brendan Rodgers, I’m saying to [Jose] Mourinho ‘let him have another season here, keep your £25 or £30 million for now’.
“He’s got Champions League football, he loves playing for Celtic, give him another year, another 18 months, at this level, until he becomes more of a man, more established.
“Then, in a year or 18 months’ time, there is no doubt Kieran Tierney will go on and play for one of the top three or four clubs down south, and he will become one of the best left-backs in Europe.
“I have every confidence in Kieran Tierney to go on and become a top, top player.
“He is a great player now, but he can only go on and get better.”
And Hartson cited the recent transfer of Iceland internationalist Gylfi Sigurdsson from Swansea City to Everton for £45 million as a benchmark for Tierney’s future value.
Speaking to BBC Scotland ahead of last night’s group stage draw, he added: “You have to look at the financial side of things as well.
“At the end of last season it was heavily rumoured that Sigurdsson was going to Everton for £27 million.
“All of a sudden, over the summer, he’s not kicked a ball for six weeks, and his fee’s gone up another £18 million.
“If Kieran Tierney has another season and is outstanding in the Champions League, playing really well against the top, top teams, is in the spotlight, being looked at all over the world by the top clubs, all of a sudden next year or the year after that you get £45 or £50 million for him.
“That’s how inflated these prices are now. Everybody is paying absolutely massive fees because the transfers have gone absolutely ridiculous.”