Charlie Nicholas was never entirely forgiven for his defection towards the bright lights and brighter ladies of the big smoke.

But as Kieran Tierney becomes embroiled in this summer’s transfer saga between Arsenal and Celtic, the idea that the 22-year-old’s affection for the club he has been affiliated with since the age of seven is somehow compromised by the seductive element of Arsenal’s interest, as some on social boards would suggest, is absurd.

Tierney made his Celtic first-team debut at just 17. He captained the team at 20. By the age of 22 he can boast to have been pivotal to the delivery of three consecutive trebles, one of which was an Invincible season, unlikely to be repeated any time soon. The idea that there is a betrayal in walking away rather than hanging around to help Celtic reach the fabled 10-in-a-row is parochial in a way that only football fans can be.

When it comes down to it, the money involved in dislodging Tierney from the Celtic womb is eye-watering and life-changing. All in all, Arsenal wouldn’t get much change out of £40million if they eventually reach the tipping point where Celtic will talk.

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The Parkhead side are well within their rights not to budge until the London club hit the magic £25m. Given some of the sums that trade hands south of the border, such a fee for a player who has already captained both club and country seems more than reasonable. That Tierney can develop into one of the best left-backs in Europe is undeniable.

Tierney himself would go from around £25k a week to £70k a week, a deal that would ultimately seem him bank £20m in salary over the length of the contract Arsenal are proposing. There is an emotional appeal of a club and then there is real life.

The player himself is something of a throwback, and not to the gallus element who have trodden a similar path before. There is something old-school about Tierney, who still lives with his parents in the house he bought them, who rarely drinks, who turns up at games on his days off with his mates to cheer on the team he was born into supporting. There is an authenticity not just to his Celtic credentials but the fact that he has never quite forgotten where he came from; he paid for new strips for his local pub team Bullfrog AFC and can regularly be spotted on the sidelines of their pitch of a Sunday morning.

His affection for Celtic runs deeper than just a beating of the chest, the grabbing of a loudspeaker and a larking around with the ultra element of the club support; his affinity with the club feels like it defines him.

Having signed a lucrative extension to his Celtic contract only last season, he is not shy of a bob or two. And yet there is a feeling that it is not the money that would appeal to Tierney but the platform that Arsenal can offer.

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A short time ago Andy Robertson and Tierney were regarded as more or less at the same level. Robertson has a few good years on Tierney but his acceleration at Liverpool and the weight of a Champions League winner’s medal around his neck is not something that can easily be overlooked.

Outwith the top six it is unlikely that Tierney would be tempted by the move south but Arsenal offer something intriguing. The sight of Tierney at a club where of late there has been an acceptance of mediocrity and palpable lack of hunger might stick in the craw of an element of the Celtic support but few would expect that his trademark aggressive play would be diluted if he swapped the crest on his shirt.

It is a delicate balance for all concerned. Celtic cannot afford to stand accused of allowing Tierney to leave on the cheap and Tierney – who has not made one public utterance on the matter – will be aware of the sensitivity around any prospective move. A switch would not alter his emotional connection to the club any more than it will change the colour of his eyes.

And nor should there be any blurring in how he is viewed through the eyes of the support.