Kieran Tierney‘s former agent has opened up on how he lost the player to another agency, “odd” happenings during his last contract renewal, and his eventual “undervalued” transfer to Arsenal.
Raymond Sparkes, speaking on BBC’s Off The Ball, said his first thoughts on the move were that it was “inevitable” and insisted that the £25m record fee wasn’t a “fair” price.
Sparkes revealed how he negotiated Tierney’s second from last contract, a five-year deal, but said he felt there were “influences at work” and that Tierney was being “taken off in a direction by Brendan Rodgers”.
He said: “I negotiated his last contract, or I should say his second from last contract. It was for five years at Celtic.
“At the end of my written contract with him, of course, I would have been keen to take that to the next level.
“But I don’t mind saying, there were influences at work. I felt that, to the largest extent, he was being taken off in a direction by Brendan Rodgers, I don’t mind saying.”
He continued: “I can’t help think he was put in a position where he was sold the idea that if he was going to be going on to bigger things he was perhaps he should have been dealing with an English-based agency.”
Sparkes suggested that the reported £75k per week possibly isn’t accurate and suggests that Tierney might reach that figure sometime in his contract with the Gunners, but not immediately.
Speaking of how Tierney’s last deal was negotiated, he said: “The odd thing was he didn’t renew with me. That didn’t come as a great surprise, but odder than that Celtic added a year to the contract. Which I found strange.
“Because to have four years left on his contract, as he did, why would there have been a need for Celtic to add another year? But they did.”
Sparkes recognised though that the longer you have on a player’s contract the better the chance of a good fee if and when it comes to selling.
He said: “The longer you have them under contract the more control and more return you’re going to get for your money. But it’s odd to have four years, because that’s not regarded as 18 months or 12 months. Four years is quite a long time.”
Sparkes also revealed who he thought Tierney had been “influenced by people behind the scenes who maybe had their own agenda”.
He said: “I think, as a man, he could have been in a position to control some of that, but it’s been difficult.”
Speaking of the fee, he said £25m wasn’t a fair deal for Celtic, with Tierney “undervalued” at the price. He said he was “glad to get the opportunity to say that” having been unwilling to “volunteer that during the last two or three months”.
Sparkes also spoke out about some of the anger directed at Tierney by some fans, however, and said they needed to “get real” and ask themselves how they would act if the were going to get offered such an increase in wages.
Listen to the full interview here